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X T OTWITHSTAXDIXG the multitude of 
^ books that have been written relating to 
its history and antiquities, the History of London 
still remains to be written, a work that cannot. 
from its ocean-like infinitude of matter, be 
accomplished by a single hand, but will require 
the combined action of a multiplicity of 

By London is here meant, not the vast aggre- 
gation of buildings and population spreading into 
four or five counties but that small fraction lying 
north and south of the Thames, which is under 
the jurisdiction of the Lord Mayor of London 
that portion which was a considerable emporium 
of trade under the Celtic Trinobantes ; a 
military post and seat of commerce under the 
Romans, with roads, of which one still retains its 


name of Watling Street, in the centre of London, 
all radiating from a central miliarium, which may 
still be seen, a venerable relic of sixteen centuries 
of age, in the wall of St. Swithin's Church ; which 
was a capital city and place of great mercantile 
importance under the Saxons and the Danes, and 
has in the subsequent thousand years, gradually 
expanded its limits, and gathered population, 
wealth, and commerce, until it has become the 
capital of the world, in magnitude and wealth 
unprecedented, to which the capitals of other 
nations are but as provincial cities : so vast and 
rich that Blucher might well exclaim, when 
shewn its banks and docks, its warehouses and 
shops " Ye gods ! what a place to sack." 

Notwithstanding the many books in existence, 
descriptive of the various phases of London, it 
appeared to the publishers there was still room 
for a small, handy, and compact volume, of 
moderate price, which should give a clear and 
comprehensive view of some of the more salient 
features of the bygone history of the old city, 
which they presume to hope may be found in this 
















Ax OLD LOXDOX DIARIST - * - - 269 

INDEX 291 


Ztbe TJQalls anfc Gates. 

IN prehistoric ages the valley of the Thames 
formed the bed of an estuary or arm of the 
sea, whose waters flowed over the low lands 
of Essex, and whose waves dashed against the 
sloping uplands of Middlesex and Surrey, on 
whose summits now stand the Crystal and 
Alexandra Palaces. In process of time, by the 
deposition of silt brought down from the west, 
and of sand brought up by the flow of the tide. 
the estuary was reduced to a river, afterwards 
still further reduced in width by the embank- 
ments made by the Romans along the coast of 
Essex ; and the land intervening between the 
then and the former shores became a succession 
of fens and morasses, some of which remained to 
comparatively modern times, and have their 
localities indicated by such names as Moorfields, 
Fenchurch, Marsh-gate, Lambeth, etc. 


Amongst these morasses were oases of high 
and firm land ; and beyond, spreading up and 
over the slopes of the uplands, there grew a 
dense forest, the home of wolves, boars, and other 
wild animals. Upon one of these spots of dry 
land, at the time of the invasion of Caesar, might 
be seen a village of wattled or mud-built and 
thatched huts, inhabited by the Celtic aborigines, 
with cattle and hogs feeding in the midst, a few 
patches of cultivated land, and beyond, the 
forest. This was the nucleus of the mighty 
London of the present, and is supposed to have 
occupied a space of some quarter of a mile along 
the river shore, with Dowgate for its centre, and 
stretching northward as far as Cheapside. In all 
probability it would be surrounded by earth- 
works, ditches, and stockades, for the purpose of 
defence, and would otherwise be protected by the 
broad stream of the Thames, and by the Fleet 
river on the west, and Walbrook on the east. 

When the Romans completed the subjugation 
of the southern part of Britain and began to 
make settlements, their practical sagacity at once 
perceived the eligibility of this spot as a centre 
of commerce ; and in a short time it put on the 
appearance of a Roman city, and gradually 


became adorned with residential houses after the 
Roman fashion whose tesselated pavements and 
other decorations are still often exhumed with 
marts of commerce, temples of the gods, basilicas, 
baths, amphitheatres, and other architectural 
appliances of an important city. 

At what period the Romans substituted a wall 
of defence in place of the old earthworks is 
uncertain, but previous to its construction they 
appeared to have erected two forts on the north 
bank of the Thames one at the eastern 
extremity of the City, where the tower now 
stands ; the other at the western end. where the 
Fleet fell into the Thames. That it was an open 
town, or very imperfectly defended, in the middle 
of the first century, is evidenced by the facility 
with which Queen Boadicea, temp. Xero. entered 
it with her army, slaughtered the inhabitants, 
and most probably burnt it. as the charred 
remains of a great conflagration have been 
frequently found in making deep excavations, 
Henry of Huntingdon, and some other of the 
old chroniclers, tell us that it was first walled by 
Constantine the Great, at the request of his 
mother Helena, and that the materials he made 
use of were hewn stone and British bricks, and 


that it was in compass about three miles. 
Cainden seems to credit this statement, from the 
fact that coins of the Empress Helena have been 
found under the wall, but as these might have 
been in circulation long after her death, it only 
goes to prove that the wall was not built before 
her era. Constantine died in the year 337, and we 
find some twenty-five years afterwards London was 
entered and pillaged, and the inhabitants reduced 
to a state of great misery, by a combined army 
of Picts, Scots, Saxons, and Franks, which would 
scarcely have been possible if it had been walled, 
and defended by the disciplined soldiers of the 
empire. The probability seems to be that the 
walls were either built or commenced by 
Theodosius, the Roman general, afterwards 
emperor, who in the reign of Valentinian, came 
to Britain with an army, utterly routed the 
pirates and freebooters, and entered London in 
triumph, where he remained for a considerable 
period ; and we are told by Ammianus Mar- 
cellinus that before he left the island he restored 
to their ancient sound condition both the towns 
and military strongholds throughout the country, 
and put everything in such a state of defence that 
peace was maintained until the reign of Honorius, 


when Britain was abandoned by the Romans. 
Hence we may arrive at an approximate date for 
the building of the walls. Constantine came to 
the throne in 306, and Valentinian died 375 : and 
it is almost certain that it took place some time 
within these 70 years, the balance of evidence 
seeming to refer it farther to the period of the 
sojourn of Theodosius in Britain, or about 

Fitzstephen is the earliest writer who mentions 
the walL He lived in the reign of Henry II.. 
towards the end of the twelfth century, and 
describes the wall as high and thick, with seven 
double gates and many towers and turrets placed 
at proper distances. Originally there were only 
four exits from the City by way of Aldgate on 
the east, Cripplegate on the north. Xewgate on 
the west, and Dowgate on the south ; the latter 
was the entrance to the "Trajectus," or ferry 
across the Thames, and derived its name from 
Dwr or Dour water; or perhaps from Dwyr 
Dover, as leading to the Dover-road. Xear to 
this gate was placed the Miliarium, a portion of 
which may still be seen in the wall of St. 
Swithin's Church, whence distances were 
measured along the roads, and from which 


radiated four roads one by Dowgate and across 
into Kent, and three others which passed 
respectively through Aldgate, Cripplegate, and 
Ludgate. The wall commenced at the eastern 
fort, and had a postern gate at its commencement 
which occupied the position of the row of posts in 
Postern-row, north of the Tower, whence it ran 
northward to Aldgate, the eastern exit (some 
portions of the old wall are still remaining at the 
back of the houses in America Crescent) ; from 
Aldgate it went in a north-western direction 
between Hounds-ditch and Camomile Street to 
Bishopgate, whence it proceeded directly west to 
Cripplegate. In the street called London-wall a 
fragment may be seen, and the remains of a 
bastion may be found between St. Giles's Church 
and the Barber Surgeons' Hall. From this point 
it turned southward for a short distance down 
Noble Street, and again deflected to the west, 
arriving at Aldersgate, after which it passed St. 
Botolph's Church and Christ's Hospital, then 
turned southward at a sharp angle, coming to 
Ludgate (which stood immediately to the west of 
St. Martin's Church), and hence to the Thames. 
In 1276 that portion south of Ludgate was taken 
down, and a new wall built from Ludgate to the 


Fleet river, and hence south to the Thames, so as 
to enclose the new Blackfriars' Monastery. It has 
been doubted whether the wall was continued 
along the river bank, but Fitzstephen says : 
" London once had its walls and towers on the 
south, but that vast river, the Thames, which 
abounds with fish, and enjoys the benefit of tides, 
and washes the City on this side, hath in a long 
track of time totally subverted and carried them 
away ;" and adds, that in his day some relics 
might be seen. Salmon, in his Survey of 
England, vol. i., disputes this, chiefly on the 
ground that we have no historical account of any 
great inundation such as would be necessary to 
effect such a result ; and Maitland combats his 
arguments at great length, contending that a 
period of 777 years was quite sufficient to account 
for their decay and disappearance ; and Lord 
Lyttelton remarks that long previously it had 
not been necessary to repair the south wall, the 
Tower and the bridge being amply sufficient to 
prevent a hostile fleet approaching the City. 

In the year 1707 considerable portions of the 
wall were laid bare in digging for the foundations 
of some houses near Bishopsgate, which Dr. 
Woodward carefully examined, and gave a 


description of the materials and construction in 
" Remarks upon the Ancient and Present State 
of London : Occasioned by some Roman urns, 
etc., discovered near Bishopgate," originally 
published in the eighth volume of Leland's 
Itinerary, and afterwards separately. He says : 
" It was compiled alternately of layers of broad 
flat bricks and of ragstone." The bricks lay in 
double ranges, and each brick being but one inch 
and three tenths in thickness, the whole layer, 
with the mortar interposed, exceeded not three 
inches. The layers of stone were not quite two 
feet thick of our measure. To this height (eight 
feet) the workmanship was after the Roman 
manner, and these were the remains of the 
ancient wall. In this it was very observable that 
the mortar was, as usual in the Roman work, so 
very firm and hard that the stone itself was 
easily broke and gave way as that. It was thus 
far from the foundation nine feet in thickness. 
The broad thin bricks above mentioned were 
all of Roman make, and of the sort, as we learn 
from Pliny, that were in common use among the 
Romans, being in length one foot and a half of 
their standard, and in breadth one foot. The old 
wall having been demolished, was afterwards 


repaired and carried up of the same thickness to 
eight or nine feet in height ; or, if higher, there 
was no more of that work now standing. All 
this was apparently additional, and of a make 
later than the part underneath it. The outside, 
towards the suburbs, was faced with a coarse sort 
of stone, not compiled with care, nor disposed 
into a regular method ; but on the inside there 
appeared more marks of workmanship and art. 
There was not one of the broad thin Roman 
bricks mentioned above in all this part, nor was 
the mortar near so hard as in that below ; but 
from the description it may be easily collected 
that this part, when first made and entire, with 
so various and orderly a disposition of the 
materials flint, stone, and bricks could not but 
carry a very elegant and handsome aspect. 
Upon the additional work now described was 
raised a wall wholly of brick, only that it 
terminated in battlements topped with copings 
of stone. It was two feet four inches in thick- 
ness, and somewhat above eight feet in height. 
. . . This wall was strengthened and em- 
bellished with stately towers, which on the south, 
together with the wall, are long since become a 
prey to the tide and weather ; but the remains of 


those on the land side, being fifteen in number, 
are still to be seen : one thereof, about the middle 
of Houndsditch, is a Roman construction, 
composed of stone with layers of bricks. It is 
situated almost opposite the end of Gravel Lane, 
on the west of Houndsditch, and is still three 
stories high, but sorely decayed and rent from top 
to bottom in divers parts." 

The height of the Roman wall is supposed to 
have been about twenty-two feet, and that of the 
towers about forty. Besides these towers there 
were bastions and other defensive works usual in 
fortifications. In Vineyard Street, on the south 
of Aldgate, the base of a tower about eight feet 
high was made use of for a new superstructure early 
in the last century, upon which had been fixed 
a stone with this inscription : 

"Glory be to God on high, who was graciously 
pleased in a wonderful manner to preserve the 
lives of all the people in this house, twelve in 
number, when the ould wall of this Bulwark fell 
down three stories high, and so broad as two 
cartes might enter a breast, and yet without any 
harm to their persones. The Lord sanctify this his 
great providence unto them. Amen and Amen. 
It was Tuesday, the 23rd September, 1651." 


There is reason for believing that the first 
western wall ran southward, with a slight 
inclination to the west, from Cripplegate to the 
Thames, passing eastward of St. Paul's, as urns 
and other sepulchral remains have been found 
between this line and that indicated above. The 
Romans never buried their dead within the walls, 
consequently this locality must at some period 
have been extramural ; and it would appear that 
as these remains have been found beneath 
pavements, as the City grew in population and 
required more space for the habitations of the 
living, the old graveyards were built over. Some 
forty years ago, in sinking a shaft in Paternoster 
Row, the excavators met, at a depth of eighteen 
feet, a stone wall of such intense hardness that it 
took the workmen three or four days to cut 
through it. This is supposed to have been a 
portion of the primitive wall, and is described by 
C. Roach Smith in the Archcsologist, vol. 
xxvii., pp. 140-53. 

After the departure of the Romans, the wall 
appears to have fallen to decay, and the City was 
easily taken by the Saxon pirates, who also 
neglected defences of this description to a great 
extent, trusting more to their own valour than in 


bricks and mortar. It would no doubt suffer 
greatly in the destruction of its towers and 
bastions in the three great conflagrations which 
occurred in the years 764, 798, and 801, and 
consumed the greater part of the City. Such 
being the case, it fell an easy prey to the Danes, 
who in 851 sailed up the Thames with a fleet of 
350 ships, speedily reduced it, and garrisoned 
it as a basis whence to attack Wessex. Alfred 
the Great succeeded to the throne of Wessex in 
871, and from that period to 878 he fought no 
less than fifty-six battles with the invaders. In 
884 he laid siege to London, drove out the Danes 
and compelled them to capitulate, after which he 
repaired the walls and forts, and appointed his 
son-in-law, Ethered, governor. The repairs 
appear to have been of a substantial character, as 
when Anlaf and Swegen, or Sweyn, the kings of 
Norway and Denmark, attacked the City, with a 
fleet of 94 ships, in 994, the citizens were enabled 
to defy all their endeavours to enter within 
the walls, and compelled them to raise the siege 
with great loss, as happened again in 1013, when 
the city was defended by Ethelred II. But 
after some successes elsewhere, Sweyn returned, 
and again laid siege to the City ; and again the 


citizens might hare closed their gates against him, 
but Ethelred, their king, pusillanimously fled to 
Normandy, and the citizens deemed it best to 
submit, whereupon the gates were thrown open, 
the Danes admitted, and Sweyn proclaimed King 
of England. 

Sweyn did not long enjoy this dignity ; he died 
the following spring, when the Londoners 
recalled Ethelred : and he also dying soon after. 
Edmund Ironsides, his son. was proclaimed king. 
and crowned in London. Canute, the son of 
Sweyn, however, claimed the crown won by the 
prowess of his father, and came with a large fleet 
up the Thames, but could not pass beyond the 
bridge, and finding he could make no impression 
on the eastern walls and forts, he cut a canal 
across Southwark and Lambeth, availing himself 
of certain watercourses, and conveyed his ships 
into the Thames somewhere about Yauxhall, 
whence he sailed downward, and attacked the 
western walls and towers; but the undaunted 
bravery of the citizens and the strength of their 
defences compelled him to raise the siege. Soon 
after, however, a treaty was entered into between 
Edmund and Canute for the division of the 
kingdom : and London falling to the share of the 


latter, he took up his winter quarters there. By 
the death of Edmund a few months after, Canute 
became sole monarch of England. 

After the battle of Hastings, William the 
Conqueror marched upon London, but was 
opposed by a body of the citizens in Southwark, 
whom he: repulsed ; but recognising their valour 
and perceiving the strength of the City's 
fortifications, he went to subdue the Western 
Counties, and his success in that direction showed 
the Londoners that the wisest and most politic 
course would be to submit ; when the Norman 
duke entered the City, and was presented with 
the keys and acknowledged as King of England. 
He was no sooner in possession of the City than 
he caused three castles to be erected, ostensibly 
for the protection of the City, but really to overawe 
the inhabitants. These were the Tower at the 
eastern, and Baynard and Montfichet Castles at 
the western, extremity of the walls. The Tower 
became the residence of the Norman kings, and 
Baynard Castle that of the chatelain and 
standard-bearer of the City offices held first by 
the Baynards, and afterwards by the Barons 
Fitzwalter. Montfichet Castle was destroyed by 
fire in the reign of William, and the Black Friars' 


Monastery built on the site the best of the 
stones being used in the re-edification of St. 
Paul's Cathedral, which had been destroyed by 

Fitzstephen speaks of the walls being " both 
high and thick, with seven double gates," which 
appear then to have been in good condition, 
although the south wall had been i; subverted 
and carried away by the tide." But very soon 
after some portions seem to have fallen into a 
ruinous condition ; as Roger of Wendover and 
Matthew Paris tell us that the barons, when in 
arms against King John, in 1215, entered the 
City by Ealdgate. and demolished the houses of 
the Jews, to obtain materials wherewith to repair 
that gate and the adjoining walls. In 1257, also, 
it is stated, Hemy III. " caused the walls, which 
were greatly decayed, and destitute of towers and 
turrets, to be repaired in a handsomer manner 
than before, at the common charge of the City." 

King Edward I. granted permission to 
Kilwarby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to take 
down the wall, from Ludgate to the Thames, for 
the purpose of enlarging the Church of the Black 
Friars, and in 1282 granted a murage charter to 
the Corporation for levying certain tolls through- 


out the kingdom, for making a new wall from 
Ludgate westward to Fleet Bridge, along behind 
the houses and by the water of the Fleet to the 
Thames, "from the aforesaid day to the end of 
three years next following," from which none were 
exempt, saving the city of Winchester, and a few 
other cities, which, by composition, were to pay 
no Portage, Murage, or Pannage. After an 
enumeration of the articles to be subjected to toll, 
amongst which are : " Riges, Cetewal, Kanel, 
Frankincense, Cummin, Liquorish, Zuber, Cyro- 
montani, Frails of Figs," etc., is added, " Whereas 
we have granted you for aid of the work of the 
walls of our City and the closure of the same, 
'divers customs of vendible things, coming to the 
said City, to be taken for a certain time, we 
command you that you cause to be finished the 
wall of the said City now begun near the Friars- 
preachers, and a certain good and comely tower 
at the head of the said wall within the water of 
the Thames," etc. Similar letters were issued by 
Edward II. in the first, second, sixth, eighth, and 
twelfth years of his reign ; but as it was found 
that levying a toll on retail commodities caused 
an insufficient supply, the patent ran in the 
latter year, that " Victualia non adducuntur, in 


detrimentum civitatis ; " but that impositions 
should be levied in bulk on all merchandise 
brought by land or water. Richard II., in a 
letter to the Corporation, said in the preamble : 
"Know ye, that whereas the walls and forts of 
the City be old and weak, and for want of repair 
are fallen down in some places, as also the ditches of 
the said City are exceeding filled with dirt, 
dunghills, and other filth, not only to the evident 
danger of the said City and inhabitants thereof, 
but also to the manifest disgrace and scandal of 
the whole City," etc. ; and granted to the Mayor 
and Corporation power to lew tolls for ten years 
for the purpose of placing the wall in a state of 
thorough repair. In order to enforce these 
murage tolls it was customary to have chains 
fixed across the entrances to the City, and no 
country people with provisions for sale were 
allowed to pass until they had paid the dues. 

In the reign of Edward IV., Ralph Joscelyne, 
the mayor, repaired the wall from Aldgate to 
Aldersgate, for which purpose he caused bricks 
to be made in Moorfields, where also the lime 
brought from Kent was burnt for that purpose. 
This was in the year 1477, and several of the 
City companies the Drapers (of which company 


the mayor was a member), the Skinners, 
the Goldsmiths, and others contributed to the 
work, and placed their arms on the portions they 
executed. The executors of Sir John Crosby 
also contributed freely out of the funds they held 
in trust towards the same object. By an order 
of the Common Council each parishioner also was 
directed to pay sixpence every Sunday at his 
Parish Church until the work was completed. 
After this the walls were neglected and suffered 
to fall in ruin. Camden, writing in 1607, says 
that the north wall " having been repaired by 
one Joscelin, who was mayor, it put on, as it 
were, a new face and freshness, but that towards 
the east and west, though the barons repaired it 
in their wars of the demolished houses of the 
Jews, is all ruinous and going to decay. For the 
Londoners, like the Lacedaemonians of old, do 
slight fenced cities, as fit for nothing but women 
to live in, and look upon their own City to be 
safe, not by the assistance of stones, but by the 
courage of its inhabitants." Nevertheless when 
the Civil Wars between Charles I. and his 
Parliament had fairly commenced, the citizens 
bethought them of their walls and forts as no 
contemptible means of defence. London had 


declared most decisively for the Parliament; 
and in 1643, the Common Council gave directions 
that the ditches should be cleaned out of the 
accumulations of rubbish, all outside buildings 
cleared away, the bulwarks put in repair and 
mounted Tirith cannon, and new works added to 
the weaker parts of the walls. The Parliament 
confirmed this resolution, and extended a plan of 
fortification, so as tc include South wark and 
Westminster. A chain of forts surrounding the 
whole, and lines of communication, were ordered 
to be erected. All the entrances to the City 
were closed excepting those at Charing Cross, 
St. Giles-in-the-Fields, St. John's Street, Shore- 
ditch, and Whitechapel : and these were fortified 
with musket proof breastworks. To carry out 
these extensive works a levy was made of eight- 
fifteenths on all the wards of the City, which was 
cheerfully assented to by the citizens, and the 
works were commenced without delay, and carried 
on with such zeal and alacrity that the whole was 
completed in an incredibly short space of time. 
In the year 1647, when the dispute was raging 
between the Presbyterians and the Independents, 
the city was divided in opinion : but when the 
army under Fairfax advanced from Hounslow 


upon London, the Mayor and Corporation met 
and saluted the general at Charing Cross ; and 
by an ordnance of Parliament he was constituted 
Constable of the Tower, the army thus becoming 
masters of the City. The Parliament then 
demanded a loan of 50,000 from the City, which 
was not complied with and in consequence an Act 
was passed for demolishing the fortifications of 
London, Westminster, and South wark. 

Whether the Roman wall was protected by a 
ditch does not appear ; probably not, as the first 
mention we have of one being made is by 
Dunthorn, who informs us that William, Bishop 
of Ely, Regent of England when Richard I. was 
absent in Palestine, made a ditch round the 
Tower as a defence against John, the King's 
brother, soon after which the citizens dug a ditch 
round the walls generally, which they commenced 
about 1190, but left it unfinished until 1213, as 
the register of Barmondsey states, when it was 
recommenced, and completed in two years. This 
ditch was 200 feet broad, but was afterwards 
neglected, and gardens planted and houses built 
upon it. In 1354, Edward III. caused it to be 
cleansed; and again in 1379, by direction of Lord 
Mayor Philpot, as also by Lord Mayor 


Fawconer, in 1414, and Lord Mayor Joceline, in 
1477. In 1519, 10th Henry VIII., it was 

"cleansed and scowered" between Aldgate and 
the Tower the chief ditcher being paid 7d. per 
day, the second ditcher Gd., other ditchers od., 
and every " vagabond " (labourer) one penny and 
meat and drink at the charge of the City. It 
was cleansed out again in 1549 at the expense of 
the trade guilds, and twenty years after, temp. 
Elizabeth, at a cost of 814 15s. 8d., at which 
time " it had therein great store of good fish of 
divers sorts." After this the expense was 
defrayed by letting the banks and " the whole 
spoil of the ditch," excepting in 1595, when the 
Common Council granted two-fifteens for the 
purpose. In the following century the ditch was 
filled up, excepting Fleet Ditch on the west, 
which, after the Fire of 1666, was, by direction of 
the Mayor and Court of Aldermen, ordered to be 
cleansed, enlarged, and made navigable for barges 
up to Holborn-bridge. The sides were built of 
freestone, and it was arranged that its banks 
should be lined with warehouses and wharves, 
but this part of the project was not carried out 
in its integrity. " This ditch was built and made 
bv Sir Thomas Fitch, bricklaver, who contracted 


with the City for a very considerable sum, and 
enriched himself thereby." In 1723 the 
Corporation obtained an Act of Parliament for 
filling up the channel from Fleet-bridge to 
Holborn-bridge, which had become choked with 
mud and was no longer navigable, and to build 
thereon a new market in place of Stocks Market, 
near the Exchange, which it was proposed to 
dismarket and demolish, and erect on the site a 
Mansion House for the Lord Mayor. 

We have seen that in the old Roman walls 
there were four gates, the exits of four roads 
radiating from the " milliarum," now called 
London Stone. These gates were Aldgate 
on the east, Aldersgate on the north, Ludgate on 
the west, and Dowgate on the south. What 
were the architectural features of these gates we 
know not, but undoubtedly they were similar 
to the usual Roman gateways, with round-arched 
openings and fortified upper chambers for the 
purpose of defence. 

ALDGATE, or Ealdgate, so called by the Saxons 
on account of its antiquity, was placed by King 
Eadger in the hands of the knights of the 
Knighten Guild, who held the soke, now called 
Potsoken Ward Without, by charter. After- 


wards it became part of the demesne of Maud, 
queen of Henry I., who bestowed it upon the prior 
and canons of her foundation, the Priory of the 
Holy Trinity, along with the soke and franchise 
of the ward. In 1215, the barons, in their war 
with King John, being favoured by the 
Londoners, entered the City by Aldgate, which 
was in a ruinous condition, and repaired, or rather 
rebuilt it, in the X or man style, with an arched 
opening built from the ruins of the Jews' houses, 
and bulwarks of Caen stone. In the llth 
Edward IV., the Bastard of Fauconbridge 
sailed up the Thames with his fleet, he being the 
admiral, to attack London in the then hopeless 
interest of the Lancastrian ex-king, when the 
Londoners hastily fortified the river front, and he 
landed in Essex, marched to Aldgate, and forced 
an entrance ; but the portcullis having been 
lowered, separated his forces, and they were 
defeated and driven back to Mile-end, many being 
slain and others dispersed. Having fallen to 
decay, the gate was taken down in 1606, and 
rebuilt, the finishing stone having been laid in 
1609. It consisted of two three-storied square 
flanking towers, with a deep recessed centre, con- 
taining the archway and a room above, and a 


footway postern in one of the towers. It was 
ornamented with two stone medallions, copies of 
two Roman coins found on digging the 
foundations, a figure of King James I., in gilt 
armour, over the arch, figures of two soldiers 
on the battlements, and a representation of 
Fortune standing on a globe. The rooms over 
the gate were appropriated to the Lord Mayor's 
carver as a residence. 

ALDERSGATE, like Aldgate, was denominated 
Eldergate by the Saxons on account of its 
antiquity. It was at divers times enlarged, with 
additional buildings, and was rebuilt in 1617 by 
direction of the Corporation. William Parker, 
merchant tailor, contributing 1,000 towards 
that object. It was built with a recessed centre, 
and square flanking towers four stories in height. 
Over the arch was an equestrian figure of King 
James I., who entered London by this gate when 
he came from Scotland to succeed Elizabeth on 
the throne of England, and on the opposite or 
southern front were statues of the prophets 
Jeremiah and Samuel, and another representation 
of King James, seated in a chair of State, in his 
royal robes. The rooms over the postern were 
occupied by the Common Crier of the City. 


This gate suffered great damage in the Fire of 
1666, but was restored at the charge of the City, 
during the mayoralty of Sir Samuel Stirling. 

LUDGATE, Geoffry of Monmouth informs us, 
was built by King Lud, circa A.D. 66. It was 
repaired and partly reconstructed by the barons, 
in 1215, out of the materials of the Jews' houses, 
and was again rebuilt in 1586, when a stone was 
found in the old structure bearing an inscription 
in Hebrew characters, " This is the station of 
Rabbi Moses, the son of the honourable Rabbi 
Isaac." During some repairs in 1260, statues of 
Lud, and other ancient kings, were placed upon 
the gate ; " but," as Stow says, " these had their 
heads smitten off in the reign of Edward the 
Sixth, by unadvised persons and such who judged 
every image to be an idol. In the reign of 
Queen Mary, they were again repaired, and had 
new heads set to their old bodies." In 1586, 
being much decayed, it was entirely rebuilt by 
the Corporation, at a cost of 1,500, with statues 
of Lud and other kings on the east, and of Queen 
Elizabeth on the west. From the year 1378, 
this gate was used as a prison for freemen of the 
City guilty of the crimes of "debt, trespasser, 
accompts and contempts." It was consumed in 


the Fire of 1660, but substantially rebuilt, like 
an ordinary house, with central archway and side 
portions, and ornamented with statues of Queen 
Elizabeth, King Lud, etc. 

The fourth ancient gate was the exit to the 
ferry across the Thames, called DOWGATE, 
Downgate, or Dourgate, the great road to the 
Kentish sea-coast, running from the opposite 
bank. It seems to have disappeared, along with 
the ferry, when the bridge was built and the 
gateway transferred to that locality. 

By the time of Henry II. the exigencies of 
commerce, and, as Maitland says, " the accommo- 
dation of the citizens in repairing to their 
gardens and fields," necessitated more exits 
through the walls ; and thus we find, as Fitz- 
stephen informs us, there were then seven double 
gates. These Maitland conjectures to have been 
Aldgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Ludgate, 
Newgate, and the Tower Postern, but it seems 
more probable that instead of the last-mentioned, 
the seventh was Bridgegate which took the place 
of Dowgate. 

BISHOPGATE was built by some bishop of 
London ; Strype supposes Erkenwald, circa 675, 
but Maitland thinks it was William the Norman 


in the reign of the Conqueror. There were 
effigies of two bishops on the gate, conjectured to 
have been Erkenwald and William, and the 
presumption is that the former was the original 
builder, and the latter the rebuilder; as, if 
Erkenwald were the founder, the old gate would 
be 400 years old in the time of William. In the 
reign of Henry III. it was placed under the 
charge of the Hanseatic Merchants of the Guild- 
halle Teutonicorum, who undertook to keep it in 
repair in consideration of certain privileges and 
immunities, but they neglected their duty, for 
which they were called to account in the reign of 
Edward I., upon which they paid 210 marks 
sterling to the Corporation for present repairs, 
and entered into a covenant to be less remiss in 
the future, and in the reign of Edward IV. they 
rebuilt it. In 1561 they had again made arrange- 
ments to rebuild it, but before the reconstruction 
was commenced they were deprived of then- 
liberties, and the old gate remained until 1731, 
when it was taken down. It was a building 
of castellated character, with a pointed archway 
in the centre, and posterns in the two side towers, 
with statues over the central arch, and, high up 
in the towers, hi niches. 


CRIPPLEGATE dates from the Saxon era, and 
obtained its name from the circumstance that 
cripples there congregated to supplicate for alms. 
Maitland considers that it, and not Aldersgate, 
was one of the four original Roman gates. It is 
related that, in the year 1010, during an incursion 
of the Danes into East Anglia,the monks of Bury 
fled to London, carrying with them the sacred 
relics of St. Edmund, and entering by this 
gate, all the cripples crouching about it were 
miraculously healed. It was sometime a City 
prison for debtors and persons guilty of trespass, 
and was the residence of the water-bailiff of the City. 
In 1244, it was rebuilt by the Brewers' Company, 
and again in 1491, Edmund Shaa, goldsmith, and 
mayor in 1483, having left 400 marks for that 
purpose. It was repaired and beautified, and the 
foot postern new made, at the charge of the City 
of London, in 1663, during the mayoralty of Sir 
John Robinson, knight and baronet, and alderman 
of the ward. In its last aspect it was a castellated 
structure with battlements, two octangular 
turrets, a recessed centre with Tudor archway, 
and a side postern through one of the towers. 

NEWGATE. In the reign of William I., the 
church of St. Paul's was burnt, when Mauritius, 


Bishop of London, commenced re-edification. In 
doing this he considerably enlarged the plan, and 
encroached so much upon the main street which 
ran through Cheapside, from Aldgate to Ludgate, 
that vehicles were compelled to take circuitous 
routes through narrow streets with dangerous 
angles, north or south of the cathedral, to reach 
Ludgate. The inconvenience became so great, 
that in the reign of Henry L, or Stephen, a new 
exit was made through the wall facing Holborn, 
to which there was better access from Cheapside, 
and was called Newgate, in contradistinction to 
the old gates. Howell, in his Lojidinopolis, says 
that it is a mistake to suppose that it was built so 
recently as the reign of Henry I., that it was of 
much older date, and was formerly called 
Chamberlaingate ; and Maitland inclines to the 
opinion that it, and not Ludgate, was one of the 
four Roman gates, from the circumstance that 
there are vestiges of a Roman road leading in 
this direction. For 500 years the gate was the 
common prison for felons of London and 
Middlesex. In the year 1255, one John Offrem, 
a prisoner, who had killed a prior, made his 
escape, and Henry III. was so displeased that he 
committed the Sheriffs to the Tower, and inflicted 


a fine upon the City of 3,000 marks. In 1422, 
the executors of Sir Richard Whittmgton, out of 
funds bequeathed for that purpose, " builded the 
Gate of London called Newgate," which Grafton 
says " before was a most ugly and loathsome 
prison." The east side was repaired in 1630, and 
the gate was entirely destroyed in the Great Fire 
of London ; after which it was rebuilt " with 
greater magnificence than any of the gates of the 
City." The new building was a lofty structure, 
with battlemented roof, a recessed centre, with 
pointed archway, and two five-storied sexangular 
towers. It was ornamented on the west side 
with Tuscan pilasters, with niches holding 
statues in the inter-columniations, one of which 
was a figure of Liberty, with a cat crouching 
at her feet, emblematical of the career of 
Whittington ; and on the east were three niches 
with figures of Justice, Truth, and Mercy. 

MOORGATE was built in the year 1415, by 
Thomas Falconer, Lord Mayor. At that time 
the land outside the wall in this part was a 
marsh, or moor, whence the name. It was made 
for the easier access of the citizens to their 
gardens and the fields beyond the marsh ; and a 
causeway, with dykes and bridges, was 


constructed across the moor, which was improved 
by Roger Acheley, Lord Mayor in 1511. After- 
wards, in the year 1606, in the mayoralty of Sir 
Leonard Halliday, " the nioor, before an 
unhealthful place, was turned into pleasant walks 
set with trees, compassed with brick walls, and 
made convenient by sewers under ground for the 
conveyence of the water, which cost the City 
5,000 or thereabouts." It was afterwards, 
during the mayoralty of John Baker. 1733, 
"new gravell'd and rail'd in a very strong and 
handsome manner." The old gate, having fallen 
to decay, was pulled down in 1672, and a new one 
of stone erected, with a central archway, and 
posterns with two stories above in the Italian 

BRIDGEGATE, which supplanted Dowgate, was 
constructed along with the bridge, in the ninth or 
tenth century, and was situated at the southern 
end. In 1436 it fell, along with the tower above 
it, and the two southernmost arches of the 
bridge; and in 1471 the new gate was burnt by 
the Bastard Fauconbridge. It was repaired at 
divers times, and was considerably damaged by 
fire in 1726, but was reinstated within two years. 
As it last appeared it had a central archway, 


above which was one story ornamented with the 
City arms, and had two circular side towers, with 
posterns for foot passengers. This gate is 
historically memorable from the number of heads 
of traitors and victims of royal jealousy which 
have been placed upon it in terrorem. Besides 
these there were several posterns between the 
main gates, and many water gates, such as 
Billingsgate, Wolfsgate, Botolphsgate, etc., 
which, however, were only used for commercial 
purposes, as wharfs for the purpose of landing 
goods from ships and barges. 

In the great Fire of London, Ludgate, 
Newgate, and Aldersgate were destroyed, and 
rebuilt. In 1760-1, eight gates being no longer 
necessary, and proving to be obstructions to the 
traffic, were sold for what the materials would 
fetch, and pulled down ; Newgate was destroyed 
by the Lord George Gordon rioters in 1780. 
Temple Bar which was built by Sir Christopher 
Wren, 1670-2, has been removed to make way 
for the improvements about the new Law Courts ; 
it had some historical associations connected with it, 
having succeeded the old gate on London Bridge 
for the ghastly display of traitors' heads. It has 
been carted away, very injudiciously, to be placed 


in some private grounds, whilst there was one 
most suitable and alone proper place for it, where 
it would have retained its characteristic name, 
stood in a conspicuous position, and have become 
to a certain extent an ornament, and certainly an 
interesting memorial of the past history of 
London that spot being on the Thames embank- 
ment, as the river-side entrance to the Temple 

Episofcea in tbe Hnnala of Cbeapeifce. 

I ^HERE are many famous streets in the 
-L capitals of the world the Rue de Rivoli, 
Paris ; the Nevski Prospekt, St. Petersburg ; 
the High Street, Edinburgh ; the Broadway, 
New York ; the Joseph Platz, Vienna ; the 
High Street, Oxford ; and the Via Sacra of Old 
Rome, with many others. All these are 
renowned for various characteristics of picturesque 
beauty, architectural grandeur, or as the scenes 
of important events in bygone times. In an 
aesthetic point of view, Cheapside is inferior to 
many of these, although architecturally it is now 
rapidly improving, and in a few years will be able 
to show ranges of buildings equal to those of any 
street in the world ; but of all the streets mentioned 
above, excepting, perhaps, those of Edinburgh 
and Rome, there is not one that can compare 
with it for its historical associations, and for the 
grand series of events of national and world- wide 
importance which it has witnessed during the 
thousand years of its existence. We purpose to 


bring before the reader a few of the more striking 
and picturesque of these events, which have 
occurred at different periods of its history, which 
will have a certain amount of value as serving to 
illustrate the modes of living, the customs and 
amusements, the fluctuations of opinion in politics 
and religion, the relations between king and people, 
and the ancient municipal glories of the citizens 
of London in bygone centuries. 

Wondrouslv different was the Westchepen of 
the eleventh century when the Norman Con- 
queror granted his brief and pithy charter to the 
citizens of London, from that of the nineteenth, 
with its stately edifices, its asphalted pavement, 
and its rush and roar of never ceasing traffic. It 
was then somewhat like an ill-tended country 
road, in the summer rough and uneven and full of 
deep holes, and in winter a quagmire of mud and 
filth knee deep, with better beaten causeways at 
the sides for pedestrian traffic. It is recorded by 
Stow that in 1091, a terrible hurricane passed 
over London, when 600 houses were blown down, 
and the roof of the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, 
erected a few years previously, was lifted off, 
carried some distance, and dashed into the street 
with such violence that four of the rafters, twenty- 


five feet in length, were driven into the earth, 
" the ground being of a moorish nature," leaving 
only four feet exposed, " which were fain to be 
cut even with the ground, because they could not 
be plucked out." The houses stood apart from 
each other like cottages in a village, and were 
thatched with straw, which was the cause of 
many fires, one occurring two years after the great 
storm, in which nearly the whole of the remaining 
houses were consumed ; and so did the 
citizens continue to rebuild their habitations after 
each successive fire, until 1245, when it was 
ordained that for the future they should be 
covered with tiles or slates, instead of straw, in 
the chief streets, "especially those close together, 
which were but few in number, for in Cheapside 
was a void place called Crown Field, from the 
Crown Inn which stood at the end of it." This 
field was at the end of Soper's Lane, by Bucklers- 
bury, and upon it were erected stages for 
spectators of pageants. It was sold, 2 Ed. IV., 
to Sir Richard Cholmley, but does not appear to 
have been utilized immediately for building- 
purposes, as we hear it spoken of in the time of 
Henry VII. 

The curfew bell was tolled from the tower of 


St. Mary, and on the top lanterns were suspended 
and lighted at night, " whereby travellers to the 
City might have the better sight thereof, and 
not miss their ways." 

For the supply of water there was a great 
standard or conduit at the east end. where the 
Poultry commences, and a smaller one opposite 
Old Change, by Paul's Gate, and opposite Wood 
Street stood one of the Eleanor Crosses, erected 
in 1290, which having become decayed by time. 
was re-edified by John Hatherley. Lord Mayor, 
who added to it a fountain. These conduits were 
the frequent scenes of punishments for misdeeds 
and executions. Wat Tyler beheaded Sheriff 
Lyon at the western standard, and there Jack 
Cade chopped off the head of Lord Say : there 
also Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, and treasurer 
to Edward II., was beheaded in 1326 "by the 
burgesses of London." In the same localities 
also was the pillory erected, where Prynne, 
Burton, and Bast wick, had their ears lopped off, 
and there Defoe and a multitude of other less 
known defenders of public rights and freedom of 
conscience have been exposed, sometimes to the 
derision, at others to the sympathy, of the mob. 

In the Plantagenet and Tudor eras Cheapside 


had assumed a different and more street-like 
aspect. Continuous lines of houses, with gables 
forming a vandyke sky line, with crossed 
timberings and latticed windows, ran down each 
side, with the steeple of St. Mary-le-Bow, which 
had fallen in 1271, and "slain many people, men, 
women, and children," and been restored gradually 
until the finishing stone was placed in 1469, 
standing proudly in the centre of the southern 
line. At the eastern end, between Laurence 
Lane and a house, called the "cage," was West 
Chepe Market, the goods being exposed for sale 
on stalls, which were let at 13s. 4d. the standing, 
causing much bickering between the street-sellers 
and the shopkeepers, in front of whose doors 
they stood, and whose goods were often seized 
and burnt at the standards for deficiencies in 
weight, or for inferiority in quality. The 
Eleanor Cross, which had been rebuilt in 1441, 
and the eastern and the western conduits still 
gave forth their supplies of water. The 
appearance of the cross is indicated in an old 
print of the procession of Edward VI. to his 
coronation in 1547 ; and again, with one of the 
conduits, in La Serre's view of Cheapside, with 
the procession of Catharine de Medicis, temp. 


Charles I. The shops were open in front like 
modern batchers' shops, and the goods exposed 
for sale on bunks. Lydgate, in his " Lackpenny " 
ballad, thus speaks of them : 

" Then to the Chepe I gan me drawn, 
Where much people I saw for to stand, 
One offered me velvet, silk, and lawn, 
Another he taketh me by the hand. 
Here is Paris thread, the finest in the land :' 
I never was used to such things, indeed. 
And, wanting money. I could not speed." 

The 'prentices of Cheapside were a conspicuous 
feature of the street at this period. During the 
day they paraded up and down in front of their 
masters' shop, crying " What d'ye lack : what 
d'ye lack ?" followed bv an enumeration and 
laudation of the articles within, and the wonderful 
bargains to be picked up : and in the evening 
listening eagerly for the sound of the curfew bell 
as the signal for shutting up shop. Stow tells us 
that in his time the bell-ringer was sometimes 
late, and that the 'prentices, precursors of the 
"Early Closing Movement" of our own time, 
addressed him as follows : 

"Clerk of the Bow-bell, with the yellow locks. 
For thy late ringing thy head shall have knocks." 

The bell-ringer, knowing that they would be as 


good as their word, and deeming " discretion to 
be the better part of valour," replies : 

" Children of Chepe, hold you all still, 
For you shall have Bow-bell ring at your will." 

These 'prentices were a pugnacious race of 
mortals, and were ever ready to issue forth at the 
cry of " Clubs ! clubs ! 'Prentices ! 'Prentices !" 
leaving the shop to take care of itself, to join in 
any fray that was going on in the street, especially 
if it were a demonstration against a foreign 
interloper in trade. They waited upon their 
master and mistress at their meals, and on 
Sundays and saint-days followed them demurely 
to church, carrying hassocks for them to kneel 
upon. In the summer evenings, after the shops 
were shut and evening prayer over, as Stow tells 
us, they were wont " to exercise their wasters 
and bucklers, and the maidens, one of them 
playing upon a timbrel, in sight of their masters 
and dames, to dance for garlands hanged across 
the streets," and on holidays they went out to 
Finsbury Fields, and other open places, and 
exercised themselves in leaping, dancing, shooting, 
wrestling, casting the stone, etc., but especially 
in bow and arrow practice. 


Chaucer, in the Cook's Tale, thus describes the 
'prentice of Cheapside : 

" A prentice dwelt whilom in our citee : 
At every bridale would he sing and hoppe : 
He loved bet the taverne than the shoppe. 
For whea ther any riding was in Chepe, 
Out of the shoppe thider wold he lepe. 
And till that he had all the sight ysein. 
And danced wel, he wold not come agen." 

Some of the more salient features in the past 
of Cheapside which present themselves to our 
view in the gradual unrolling of the panorama of 
the ten centuries are very varied in their 
character. VTe behold a strange intermingling of 
gorgeous processions in honour of the birth, 
marriage, and coronation of royal personages, 
with the pillory, the stocks, and the executioner's 
block, and the accompanying lopping-off of hands, 
ears, and heads, and whippings at the cart tail ; 
Lord Mayors' shows, generally more grotesque 
than refined, and trade guild demonstrations of 
splendid liveries and floating banners ; combined 
with 'prentices' club frays, and fights between 
rival trade companies, which seldom ended 
without bloodshed ; tilting at the quintain ; 
tournaments and joustings ; alongside with 


insurrectionary risings and outbursts of religious 

A.D. 1196. At this period the rich and the 
noble of the land were chiefly of the Norman 
race, and the poor almost all Saxons, who were 
ground down to the earth by the tyranny and 
oppression of their masters, to which they 
submitted with a sullen dogged obedience, having 
still within them that spirit of freedom which 
animated the breasts of their ancestors previous 
to the Norman Conquest. Richard Cceur de 
Lion was king, and had just been liberated from 
his captivity. He ruled the kingdom with a high 
hand, and had said on one occasion, when 
remonstrated with for raising money by uncon- 
stitutional means, " Have I not a right to do 
what I like with my own ? I would sell London 
itself if I could find a purchaser." At this 
juncture up rose a lawyer, one William Fitzosbert, 
otherwise called Longbeard, who seems to have 
been a designing character, and desirous of 
currying favour with the people, he proclaimed 
himself the advocate of the poor, the redresser of 
their wrongs, and the unflinching enemy of their 
oppressors. He soon had a gathering around 
him of the penniless and discontented serfs, 


amounting eventually to 50,000 men, armed with 
bows and arrows, rudely fashioned pikes, clubs, 
axes, hedge stakes, and other similar weapons. 
This army or rather mob went about offering 
insults to the rich, breaking open their houses 
and plundering them in broad daylight. The 
Corporation had then but little authority and 
power, and were not able to cope with so 
formidable an insurrection : and Archbishop 
Hubert, the chief justiciary, summoned the leader 
to appear before him, who came, however. so 
numerously attended, that it was deemed wise to 
dismiss him with a rebuke. After this the 
outrages of the insurgents became more barefaced 
and open, as well as more numerous : whereupon 
more vigorous measures were taken, and after 
murdering an officer sent to apprehend him. 
Fitzosbert, with a concubine and a few followers, 
took refuge in the church of St. Mary-le-Bow. 
and fortified it against his pursuers, defying them 
for some time, many persons being killed in the 
assault, until at length a fire of damp straw was 
lighted beneath, the smoke of which compelled 
the garrison to issue forth, and after a fight in the 
street, they were captured and carried to the 
Tower, before the judges, who condemned them to 


death. " And then," says Stow, " he (Fitzosbert) 
was by the heels drawn to the Elmes in 
Smithfield and there hanged with nine of his 
fellows, where because his favourers came not to 
deliver him, he forsook Mary's son (as he termed 
Christ our Saviour), and called upon the devil to 
help and deliver him. Such was the end of this 
deceiver, a filthy fornicator, a secret murderer, a 
polluter of concubines, and (amongst his other 
detestable acts) a false accuser of his elder 
brother, who had brought him up in learning, and 
done many things for his preferment." The 
people, however, looked upon him as a martyr, 
secured his body, carried away the broken-up 
gibbet and the bloodstained earth as relics, and 
reports were afterwards spread abroad of sundry 
wonderful miracles which had been worked by 
their sacred influence. 

A.D. 1236. An aspect of a very different 
and much more pleasing character was that 
which Cheapside assumed on one occasion in this 
year. King Henry III. had in January married 
with great magnificence at Canterbury, Eleanor, 
second daughter of Raymond, Earl of Provence, 
and it was when she passed through the City, on 
her way to Westminster to be crowned, that a 


civic display was made in Cheapside, which 
surpassed in pomp and splendour everything 
which had preceded it, and which is the earliest 
of which we have any detailed account. The 
street was hung with arras, silk and cloth 
draperies of gay colours, and banners and pennons 
floating from the housetops and windows, 
accompanied by many strange devices, and 
pageants on scaffolds along the route. Andrew 
Bockrel, the mayor, with the sheriffs and 
aldermen, and a following of 360 citizens, rode 
forth to meet the king and queen, and escort 
them through the City to Westminster. They 
were all clad in long robes, lavishly embroidered 
with gold ; their other garments were of silk, 
diversified in colour, and their horses were 
covered with trappings reaching to the ground, 
covered with embroidery and blazonry of arms. 
Each man carried in his hand a gold or silver 
cup, emblematic of the Lord Mayor's right to 
serve the office of chief butler at the coronation 
feast, and they were preceded by trumpeters. 
In the evening the city was illuminated with 
lamps, cressets, and other lights " without 
number," Cheapside presenting a most brilliant 
effect, with the bonfires blazing up from the 


ground, lights of different kinds gleaming from 
the frontages of the houses, from end to 
end of the street, and multitudes of men, with 
lighted cressets on their shoulders, marching 
hither and thither, and mingling with others 
bearing torches, a scene infinitely more 
picturesque than the commonplace gas 
illuminations of the present. 

A.D. 1249. In this year King Henry III. 
made a raid upon the shopkeepers of Cheapside, 
who, true to their instinctive abhorrence of regal 
interference with their liberties, presented so 
formidable an opposition to his demands that he 
was fain to give way. Stow thus narrates the 
occurrence : " This year the King kept his Christ- 
mas at London, with the meanness of spirit 
worthy of himself, for he begged, as it were, large 
new year's gifts of the citizens. But the money 
on that occasion not being deemed sufficient, 
Henry soon after sent and imperiously demanded 
much greater sums. This message occasioned a 
great alarm amongst the citizens, who justly 
complained that no regard was had to honour, 
justice, conscience, nor religion ; and that their 
liberties, which they had so often dearly bought, 
and had so many times been confirmed and sworn 


to, were not able to protect them from being treated 
as the worst of the slaves ; yet, notwithstanding 
these great truths, they were compelled to pay the 
tyrant the sum of 2,000. a very great sum at 
that time. Nor did these wicked proceedings 
stop here, for many shopkeepers in the City were 
spoiled of their goods (especially those for the 
use of the kitchen) b}' the order of that iniquitous 
prince." We may fancy the commotion that 
would be excited in Cheapside when the king's 
officers appeared and seized the goods which were 
displayed on the bunks for sale, and can only 
wonder that the valorous 'prentices did not raise 
their usual war cry, seize their clubs, and drive 
the officers back with a sound thrashing to their 
master who sent them. Whether they did 
attempt to defend their master's property in this 
their usual fashion is not recorded, but Stow 
adds : " These diabolical oppressions caused 
many of the most eminent citizens to retire into 
the country, choosing rather to cohabit with 
brutes than to dwell in the capital of so wicked a 
tyrant. . . . Henry, being at last conscious 
of his having frequently and unjustly imposed 
upon the citizens of London by many heavy 
and intolerable exactions, resolved to reconcile 


himself with them ; and, in order thereunto, 
commanded them to attend him at Westminster, 
where, being assembled in the great hall, he, in 
the presence of his nobility, solemnly promised 
that for the future they should live happily under 
his government, and not be liable to such 
grievous taxations as formerly." 

A.D. 1257. Sir Hugh Bigot, an itinerant 
judge, held a court in the City, although contrary 
to the ancient rights and liberties of the citizens, 
and made an example in Cheapside of certain bakers 
guilty of malpractices such as giving short weight 
and supplying an inferior article, " by setting 
them upon a tumbrell or dung-cart, wherein they 
were exposed in the streets as bawds usually 
were," a very wholesome punishment, which 
might be revived with advantage in the present 
day as an example to the adulterators of food. 

A.D. 1262 and 1264. At the eastern end of 
Cheapside is a street called the Old Jewry, a name 
formerly applied to a limited district westward of 
Loth bury, and so called from being the principal 
Jews' quarter of the early race of Jews, who were 
banished the kingdom temp. Edward I., and 
where they had a synagogue. Here they lived, 
as well as about Jewin Street, and in a Jewery near 


the Tower, and then, as now, made great wealth 
by the practice of usury, and despoiling the 
Gentiles by means of hard bargains and crafty 
sharp practice in money dealings, which gave rise 
to a great deal of ill-will between the two races, 
much maltreatment, massacres, and unjust 
demands of money from the Jews, by the kings 
and other authorities, and the frequent pillaging 
of their houses by mobs. 

In 1189, a general massacre of the Jews took 
place at the coronation of Richard I., the survivors 
living in constant peril of murder and confiscation. 
an instance of the latter occurring in 1241, when 
the Jews of London were fined 20.000 marks 
because the Jews of Norwich had circumcised a 
Christian child. 

In 1262, a fierce quarrel broke out between a 
Christian and a Jew, in the Church of St. Mary 
Cole, in the Poultry, relative to some money 
transactions, which proceeded from words to 
blows, and the Jew, having dangerously wounded 
his adversary, fled into the Jewry for refuge, 
pursued by a mob of idlers who had witnessed the 
fray, and of 'prentices from the shops, nothing loth 
to join in a Jew-hunting frolic. The Jew was 
captured in his own house, dragged forth, and 


bludgeoned to death. Not satisfied with that, 
the mob fell upon the inhabitants of the quarter 
and murdered them indiscriminately, afterwards 
plundering and burning their houses. 

Two years afterwards the mob was again in 
arms, arising out of an attempt on the part of a 
Jew to extort more than the legal interest (two- 
pence per week) for 20, which he had lent to a 
Christian. They attacked the " Jewery " in great 
force, destroyed the synagogue the first erected 
in England massacred 500, or according to 
another authority, 700 Jews, male and female, 
and " spoiled the residue of their property." 

In the Westminster Parliament of 1273, laws 
were enacted to restrain their exorbitant rates of 
usury, and in 1290, by an Act of the Parliament 
assembled at Northampton, they were banished 
the realm, and all their immovable property 
confiscated. The number who were thus driven 
forth amounted, according to Matthew of West- 
minster, to 16,160, and thus ended the first race 
of Jews in England, from which period until the 
middle of the seventeenth century, although there 
might be individuals, there was no organised 
body of Jews in the land. 

A.D. 1269. In this year, the 53rd of the 


reign of Henry III., a great fight took place 
between the Goldsmiths and the Taylors 
Companies, which is thus graphically described 
by Fabyan : "In this lili. yere in ye moneth of 
November fyll a very aulnce atweene the felys- 
shyppes of Goldsmythes and Tayloures of 
London, whiche grewe to makynge of parties, 
so that with the Goldsmythes take partie the 
felyshep or craft of and with the Tayloures 
held ye craft of Stayners ; by meane of this moche 
people uyghtly gaderyd in the streetes in 
harneys, and at length as it were prouyded, the 
thirde nyght of the sayd parties mette upon the 
number of V. C. men on both sydes and ran 
togyder, with such vyolence, that some were 
slayne and man}' wounded. Then outcry was 
was made that ye shyreffes, with strengthe of 
other comers, came to the ryddynge of theym, 
and of theym toke certayne persones and sent 
them into dyvers prysons and upon the morrowe 
such serche was made, yt the moste of the chief 
causers of that fray were taken and put in warde 
Then vpon the Fryday followynge Saynt 
Katteryn's daye, sessyons were kepte at Newgate 
by tlie May re and Lawrence de Broke, iustice, 
and others ; where xxx. of the sayd persones 


were arregned of felony, and xiii. of theym caste 
and hanged." 

A.D. 1330. King Edward II. had been 
murdered in Berkeley Castle, and his son, 
Edward III., reigned in his stead, and now, five 
years after the decapitation of Bishop Stapleton, 
Cheapside was witness of a scene of a more 
joyous character. Unsuitable as it might be 
deemed nowadays, with its endless throng of 
cabs, omnibuses, and other vehicles, for such a 
display, it was then not unfrequently the chosen 
spot for tournaments and jousts. Two years 
before, the young King had married Philippa of 
Hainhault, and this year she had given birtli to 
an infant, afterwards the famous Black Prince. 
In honour of this event, and to do honour to the 
visit of some French ambassadors, the King gave 
orders for a tournament to be held in Cheapside. 
The street was decorated with tapestries and 
silver draperies, pendant on the walls, and 
banners streaming from the roofs. The bright 
eyes of beauteous damsels glanced in the windows 
of the houses, and the street was filled with a 
crowd of gaily dressed holiday-makers. The lists 
were formed between "Wood Street and Queen 
Street, and the ground bestrewn with sand to 


prevent the horses slipping. There was 
seen all the glory and paraphernalia of heraldry. 
Kings-at-arms and pursuivants, decked in habits 
emblazoned with arms, trumpeters, and other 
officials ; prancing steeds, bestridden by knights 
in full panoply, with their achievements blazoned 
on their shields, accompanied by their esquires 
bearing their arms. Across the street had been 
erected a scaffold, shaped like a tower, whereon 
sat Philippa and the ladies of her court, the great 
centre of attraction for the spectators in the 
street below. Thirteen knights entered the lists 
on each side ; stalwart men and the flower of 
chivalry. Their esquires handed to them their 
lances, and making deep obeisance to the Queen, 
they ranged themselves at each end for the 
onset, when the trumpets sounded and they clashed 
forward. Scarcely, however, had they done so 
when the scaffold on which the Queen sat came 
down with a terrific crash, which stopped the 
jousters in midway. The King rushed to the 
spot, anxious for the safety of the Queen, but 
fortunately found that no one had been hurt 
beyond a few bruises and a terrible fright. Great 
confusion prevailed, and the King, in a tempest 
of rage, vowed that all the careless carpenters 


who had constructed the stage should be put to 
death, but the Queen, says Stow, " took great 
care to save the carpenters from punishment, and 
through her prayers, which she made on her 
knees, she pacified the King and council, and 
thereby purchased great love of the people." 
After this the King caused a stone shed, called 
Sildham, to be built in front of Bow Church, 
"for himself, the Queen, and other estates to 
stand in, there to behold the joustings and other 
shows at their pleasure." It served this purpose 
until the year 1410, in the reign of Henry VI., 
when it was disposed of to Stephen Spilman, 
William Marchford, and John Wattel, mercers, 
for business purposes, with the condition that 
" The kings of England and other great estates, 
as well as those of foreign countries repairing to 
this realm, should be entitled to make use of it 
for witnessing the shows of the City, passing 
through Westchepe." 

At the western standard by Paul's Gate, Jack 
Cade, the rebel leader, in 1450, caused Lord Say 
to be decapitated. 

A.D. 1382-1445. In the interval between 
these dates, Cheapside was the scene of much 
royal pageantry of great splendour. When 


Anne of Bohemia, the first Queen of Richard 
II., entered London after her marriage, in 1382, 
a castle, with towers, was erected in Cheapside, 
on whose battlements stood a bevy of fair 
maidens, who flung in their path counterfeit gold 
coins, and threw over them, as it were, showers of 
butterflies made of gold leaf; and when she and 
Richard passed in procession through Cheapside, 
afterwards, to celebrate his reconciliation with 
the City, after a fierce quarrel, a tower was 
erected, whence issued copious streams of red and 
white wine for all comers, the King and Queen 
quaffing draughts therefrom out of golden goblets, 
and an " angel descending from a cloud crowned 
them with golden circlets." In 1423 Katherine 
of Valois, widow of Henry V., after visiting St. 
Paul's Cathedral, passed through Cheapside. 
seated in a chair of state, with her infant king, 
Henry "VI., in her lap, whence she proceeded to 
Newington Manor House. Henry VI. and his 
queen the masculine and brave, but unfortunate, 
Margaret of Anjou passed along Cheapside 
with much pageantry on the occasion of their 
marriage, in 1445, when they halted by the 
great conduit to witness a play called The Five 
Wise and the Five Foolish Virgins, who were 


personated with great spirit by ten City maidens. 
Twenty-seven years after in 1472 the corpse 
of the weak and unfortunate monarch, after his 
suspicious death in the Tower, and the fall of the 
Lancaster dynasty, passed along Cheapside in 
mournful funereal silence, by torchlight, and with 
the face exposed, that all might see that the last 
of the Lancasters was really dead, on its progress 
to St. Paul's, and hence to Windsor for burial. 

A.D. 1510. Perhaps the most splendid of the 
sights of Cheapside was the setting of the 
Marching Watch on the Vigil of St. John the 
Baptist, in June, and on that of Saints Peter and 
Paul in July. The City Watch was instituted in 
the year 1253 by Henry III., and consisted of a 
body of substantial citizens, with an alderman or 
magistrate at their head, for each ward, to protect 
the houses from robbery and the streets from 
outrages by night crimes which had hitherto 
been very rife ; and it was ordained that if anyone 
suffered loss or violence whilst the guard was on 
duty he should receive compensation from the 
ward. The Marching Watch was a grand pro- 
cessional display of fire and light, banners and 
music, glittering armour and flashing weapons, 
bonfires in the streets, and numberless cressets 


borne aloft. The citizens' wives and daughters, 
apparelled in their most fascinating costumes, 
occupied the windows ; men and boys clambered 
on the gabled roofs ; whilst in the street 
below tables were spread with viands and 
provided by the citizens, which were presided 
over by their 'prentices, attired in their blue 
gowns and yellow hosen, like the Christ's 
Hospital boys of our time, who invited the 
passers-by more especially if they were young 
and pretty and of the other sex to partake of 
their masters' cheer. 

On the Vigil of St. John in 1510, Henry 
VIII., then a frolicsome young man of nineteen. 
who had only been a year on the throne, with a 
companion or two, perhaps Charles Brandon, 
came from Westminster, disguised as a yeomen of 
the guard, to see this setting of the Watch, of 
which he had heard so much. He came from 
Westminster in a public wherry, and landing at 
Bridewell Stairs, proceeded on foot, like a modern 
Haroun al Raschid, mingling with the people and 
cracking jests with them as he went along. He 
stationed himself at the cross in West Cheap, 
where he saw the proceedings admirably, and after 
partaking, most probably, of a cake and a flagon 


of ale at some hospitable citizen's door, he 
returned, so much struck with the splendour of 
the festival that he vowed he would bring the 
Queen (Catherine of Arragon, whom he had 
married the previous year) to see it on the next 
occasion, in July. 

The Vigil of Saints Peter and Paul arrived, and 
the gay monarch, faithful to his promise, and 
wishing to give pleasure to his queen, dreaming 
not then of divorces and the headman's axe, with 
which he became so familiar in after life, brought 
her in regal state and pomp, accompanied by a 
crowd of nobles and court ladies, to see the civic 
spectacle, which they witnessed from the hall of 
the Mercers' Company in Cheapside The street 
itself, before the procession was arranged, was a 
sight worth seeing, and one to be remembered for 
many a long day. Huge bonfires were blazing 
up in different parts ; the houses were hung 
with tapestrj 1 -, and were lighted up with oil lamps 
and " branches of iron curiously wrought, 
containing hundreds of lamps, lighted at once, 
which made a great show;" timber stages, hung 
with variously coloured stuffs, and the latticed 
windows were filled with elegantly-dressed ladies, 
whose diamonds flashed in the light ; banners 


and pennons floated in the evening breeze ; 
"every man's door was shadowed with green 
birch, long fennel, St. John's-vvort, and such like, 
garnished upon with beautiful flowers ;" whilst 
prancing steeds in gay trappings, armed men 
with plumed casques, city and guild officials in 
gay liveries and a crowd of citizens, male and 
female, in the quaint costume of the period, 
mingled in picturesque groups below. After 
sunset the procession was arranged, and set out. 
First came a band of music, followed by the 
officials of the Corporation in parti-coloured 
liveries, and the sword-bearer mounted on a 
gaily-trapped steed, and in armour. Then came 
the Mayor on a magnificent horse with housings 
reaching to the earth, accompanied by a giant ; 
two pages, mounted ; a band of morris dancers, 
footmen, and three pageants. After him came 
the sheriffs, similarly attended with giants, 
morris dancers, and torchbearers, but with only 
two pageants. Then followed a cloud of 
demi-lancers, in armour, with the City arms 
emblazoned on their backs and breasts ; a 
company of archers with their bows bent ; 
pikeinen and halberdiers, in corslets and helmets ; 
and billmen, with helmets and aprons of mail. 


The whole body consisted of about 2,000 men, 
and between the divisions were bands of 
drummers, fifers, and whifflers, and standard and 
ensign bearers. Interspersed amongst them 
were 940 men bearing lighted cressets iron 
frames filled with pitched rope, which blazed up 
and sent forth volumes of black smoke, " which 
showed at a distance like the light of a burning- 
city," and the same number of men to supply the 
cressets with fresh supplies of fuel. Two hundred 
of these were supplied by the City ; 500 were 
supplied at the expense of the City companies, 
and the remainder were the ordinary watchmen. 

The midsummer watch was kept up until 1539, 
when Henry VIII. , considering the great 
expense it was to the City, caused it to be 
abolished. It was revived, however, in 1548, and 
continued until 1569, when in consequence of its 
bringing together " abundance of rogues, 
pickpockets, quarrellers, whoremongers, and drunk- 
ards," it was again abolished, and although some 
attempts were made afterwards to restore it, 
they were not successful. 

A.D. 1485-1610. In the interval between 
these dates, Cheapside was the scene of many a 
grand spectacle, and it may be added of many a 


so-called vindication of justice in the way of 
barbarous mutilations and inhuman executions. 

A.D. 1513. The Cheapsides 'prentices, of 
whom we have spoken, were a turbulent and 
unmanageable element of the community, keeping 
their clubs at hand in the shops, to be ready at 
any moment to rush out and join a fray, and 
many a broken head they gave and got in these 
fights, which generally arose, not so much out of 
malice as from pure love of contention for 
mastery, which then developed itself in this 
rough way as it now displays itself in games of 
cricket and athletic sports. There was one class 
of persons, however, against whom they had a 
special hatred, and nothing pleased them better 
than to insult them with vile speeches, drag them 
in the gutter or belabour them with their clubs. 
These were the foreign merchants, importers of 
silks, wine, and other commodities ; the Lombard 
money-lenders and stranger craftsmen and 
citizens, who, they said, impoverished the 
English traders and carried away the English 
gold. This jealousy continued to grow, and was 
brought to a crisis by a Lombard seducing a 
citizen's wife, and obtaining through her, his 
plate chest, and afterwards causing the citizen to 


be arrested for a debt for his wife's board and 
lodging during the time she was at his house. 
A rumour got abroad that on the ensuing May 
Day a sort of Bartholomew's massacre should 
take place, and that all foreigners found in 
London then would be put to death. The 
'prentices now began to insult and ill-treat them 
as they passed along the street, and several fled 
from the city. A report of these proceedings 
reached the king, and Wolsey sent for the 
mayor and charged him to see that the peace 
was kept in the city, which he assured the 
cardinal he was quite capable of maintaining, and 
departed. This was about four o'clock on the 
eve of May Day, and on his return to the city he 
assembled the magistrates and council, amongst 
whom was Sir Thomas More, ex-under-sheriff, 
when, after some discussion, it was decided to 
issue an order to the citizens to have their doors 
closed at nine o'clock, and to keep all their 
'prentices and servants within until nine the 
following morning, and the aldermen went to 
their respective wards to see that this mandate, 
which had been confirmed by the king and 
council, was obeyed. 

After the issuing of this order, which only 


took place about half-an-hour before nine, 
Alderman Sir John Munday, on going down 
Cheapside found two young fellows playing at 
bucklers in the middle of the street, and a 
number of other young men looking on. He 
ordered them to desist and go within doors, and 
upon their asking him why, instead of explaining 
the order, which they had no knowledge of, he 
threatened to send them to the compter, and 
after a little altercation, seized one of the youths 
to commit him to prison. " But," says Stow, 
" the 'prentices resisted the alderman, taking the 
young man from him, and cried, ' 'Prentices ! 
'prentices ! clubs ! clubs ! ' Then out of every 
door came clubs and other weapons, so that the 
alderman was put to flight. Then more people 
arose out of every quarter, and forth came 
serving-men, watermen, courtiers, and others, so 
that by eleven o'clock there were in Cheap 600 
or 700, and out of St. Paul's Churchyard came 
about 300. From all places they gathered 
together and broke open the compters, took out 
the prisoners committed thither for hurting the 
strangers. They went also to Newgate and took 
out Studley and Bets, committed for the like 
cause. The mayor and sheriffs were present and 


made proclamation in the king's name, but were 
not obeyed." After this they went in separate 
bands, breaking open and plundering the houses 
of the foreigners, until about three in the 
morning, when they began to disperse, and being 
thus disunited, the authorities were enabled to 
capture about 300 of the rioters and place them 
in prison. Sir Roger Cholmley, lieutenant of the 
Tower, had come forth with a military force, " and 
shot off certain pieces of ordnance against the 
City, but did no great hurt." About five o'clock 
the Earl of Shrewsbury and other nobles, and the 
prior of St. John's, Clerkenwell, came with what 
forces they could get together, as did the Inns of 
Court, " but before they came the business was 

A special commission of oyer and terminer was 
issued to the Duke of Norfolk and other lords, 
with the Lord Mayor, aldermen, and justices, to 
try the prisoners. The court was held in the 
Guildhall, on the 2nd of May, whither the 
delinquents, to the number of 278 persons, were 
brought, tied together with ropes, and escorted by 
1,300 men. On the 4th, thirteen of them were 
condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, 
in divers parts of the City ; which sentence was 


carried out with great barbarity, in the presence 
of Lord Edward Howard, " a knight marshal, who 
shewed no mercie, but extreme crueltie to the 
poore younglings in their execution." 

A few days after, Lincolne, Shirwin, and Bets, 
instigators of the affray, with divers others, were 
dragged on hurdles to be hanged at the Standard 
in Cheapside. They were placed under the 
gallows with the ropes round their necks, when 
a reprieve arrived. The people shouted " God 
save the king," and the condemned were taken 
back to prison. On the 14th, the Recorder and 
some aldermen waited upon the king at 
Greenwich, to solicit pardon for the rest of the 
prisoners, which he bluntly refused, but ordered 
them to be brought before him at Westminster on 
the 22nd. On that day the king sat in state, 
attended by " the cardinal and many great lords," 
and the mayor and aldermen of London. " The 
king commanded that the prisoners should be 
brought forth, so that in came the poore yonglings 
and old false knaves, bound in ropes all along, one 
after the other, in their shirts, and everie one a 
halter about his necke, to the number now of 
foure hundred men and eleven women. And 
when all were come before the king's presence, 


the cardinal! sore laide to the maior and 
commonaltie their negligence ; and to the prisoners 
he declared that they had deserved death for 
their offence. Then the prisoners cried ' Mercie, 
gratious lord, mercie ! ' Herewith the lords 
altogether besought his grace of mercie, at whose 
sute the king pardoned them all. Then the 
cardinall gave unto them a good exhortation to 
the great gladnesse of the hearers. Now when 
the generall pardon was pronounced, all the 
prisoners shouted at once, and altogether cast up 
their halters into the hall roofe, so that the king 
might perceive they were none of the discreetest 
sort. Then were all the gallows within the Citie 
taken downe, and many a good prayer made for 
the king." 

And thus came to an end the proceedings in 
connection with the frolic of the Cheapside 
'prentices, on what was long afterwards called 
" Evil May Day." 

When King John, in 1215, granted a mayor, it 
was stipulated that he should present himself 
before the king or his justices for approval, 
whence arose the annual procession on Lord 
Mayor's Day. At first it was a very simple 
matter, the mayor riding on horseback accom- 


panied by the aldermen, and preceded by the 
beadle and a company of minstrels. It gradually, 
however, added new features, such as banner 
bearers, standards emblazoned with arms, 
trumpeters, " men apparelled like devils and wild 
men to clear the way with squibs," "savages or 
green men " with fireworks for the same purpose, 
wild animals of various kinds, emblematic figures 
and devices, many exceedingly quaint and 
grotesque, and some with punning allusions to 
the mayor. But the most conspicuous features of 
the shows of the 16th and 17th centuries were 
the pageants, a species of emblematical stage 
representation provided by the company which 
had the honour of giving the mayors. These 
pageants displayed a great deal of imagination 
and mechanical skill, and sometimes cost nearly a 
thousand pounds. 

Sir John Xorman is supposed to have been the 
first mayor who went to Westminster by water, 
whither he was rowed with silver oars, in 1621, 
for which he was lauded in verse as " The Sun in 
Aries," by Middleton, the Laureate. 

From 1639 to 1655 the prevalence of 
Puritanism and the civil war together abolished 
the show, as did the Plague and the Fire from 


1664 to 1671. In 1703 the pageants were 
discontinued, much to the regret of the people, 
who looked upon them as the best part of the 
show, and were especially delighted with some 
time-honoured representations which were 
repeated year by year, and never lost their 
interest, such as that of the Goldsmiths, in which 
St. Dunstan, their patron saint, seized the devil 
by his nose with the tongs, and made him roar 
with pain. 

As an illustration of this olden-time mode of 
celebrating the inauguration of a new mayor, we 
have selected a pageant of the Fishmongers' 
Company, in the procession of Sir John Lemon, 
1616, of which company he was a member. The 
pageant consisted of several sections : 1. The 
trade pageant, " A Fisshing Busse," ornamented 
with carvings of fish and other devices, the 
company's crest at the head and St. Peter's keys 
at the stern, with three fishermen aboard, one 
casting the net and the others distributing live 
fish among the crowd. 2. A dolphin, argent, 
naisant and crowned, part of the company's arms. 
" Arion, a famous musician and poet, rideth on 
backe." 3. The Emperor of Morocco, in regal 
costume, with crown and sceptre, "gallantly 


mounted on a golden leopard, and hurling gold 
and silver everywhere about him." He is 
attended by six tributary Moorish kings 
" carrying ingots of gold and silver and each a 
dart." 4. A lemon tree, in reference to the name 
of the Lord Mayor, with a pelican at the foot 
feeding her young with the blood of her own 
breast, emblematic of the love the chief magistrate 
has for the citizens. Around sit the " five senses, 
picturing flower, fruit, rind, pith, and juice." 
This portion is preceded by a winged figure, 
seated on a white horse, and bearing a sword, 
eight men in armour bearing emblazoned banners, 
and two trumpeters. 5. A man in armour, on a 
white horse, carrying the head of Wat Tyler on 
a spear, and five men in armour bearing 
truncheons. 6. A merman and mermaid, herald- 
ically habited with gold chains, and riding on the 
sea waves. These are the supporters of the 
company's arms. 7. " The Fishmongers' Pageant 
Chariot," pyramidal in form, with thirteen 
allegorical figures, the upper part forming a 
throne, and seated thereon a winged and crowned 
figure, over which is a canopy with the Fish- 
mongers' crest. In front of the throne sits King 
Richard II., in golden armour, whose life was 


preserved by Wai worth, the winged figure above 
being his guardian angel, who inspired Sir 
William to use his dagger. There are also 
numerous children seated in rows above each 
other, splendidly dressed, representative of the 
Royal virtues. The stages of this part of the 
pageant are made to appear as if passing over the 
sea waves. 8. " The Fishmongers' bower." An 
arched recess with double columns, adorned with 
shields of arms of former mayors of the company. 
This is supposed to have been to a certain extent 
a copy of the tomb of Sir William Walworth, 
who lies thereon, dressed in a purple robe 
trimmed with ermine, and a hat and feather, 
after the style of the Jacobean period, an 
anachronism considered at that time of but little 
consequence. Above him stands an angel, "the 
genius of London," who bids him arise from his 
tomb. Forthwith he stands up, makes a 
congratulatory speech to the new mayor, and then 
" ridd on horsebacke with the rest of them," 
accompanied by representatives of the five 
citizens who were knighted along with him for 
their services against the rebels in Smithfield. 
From the time when the pageants were discon- 
tinued in 1702, the show sank down into a mere 


procession, with banners, music, the companies 
in their liveries, and the men in armour, as they 
have come down to our day. Hogarth gives us, 
in his series of Idleness and Industry, a graphic 
representation of the show of 1750, with the 
Prince and Princess of Wales seated under a 
canopy at the end of Paternoster Row. 

A.D. 1643. Cheapside was one of the nine 
resting-places of the body of Eleanor of Castile, 
Queen of Edward I., on its progress from 
Lincolnshire to Westminster for burial, and here. 
opposite Wood Street, was erected, by Master 
Michael, a Canterbury mason, one of her 
beautiful memorial crosses. It fell to decay, and 
in 1441 was rebuilt with a conduit or fountain 
connected with it, but was not completely 
finished until the accession of Henry VII. The 
fanaticism of the Puritans after the Reformation 
caused them to look upon it and its statues of 
Jesus Christ, the Virgin, the Apostles, and a 
figure which they presumed to be, and which 
probably was, the effigy of a pope, with feelings 
of superstitious horror, and on several occasions 
they defaced the images and otherwise mutilated 
the cross. At length the reign of the Puritans 
commenced, and in 1643 the Parliament decreed 


its destruction, deputing one Robert Harlow to 
see it carried out. Accordingly in May of that 
year he filled Cheapside with a troop of horse, 
two companies of foot, and a body of workmen 
with ladders, picks, crowbars, and hammers, and 
as the official report informs us : " On the 2nd of 
May, 1G43, the cross in Cheapside was pulled 
down. At the fall of the top cross, drums beat, 
trumpets blew, and multitudes of caps were 
thrown in the air, and a great shout of people 
with joy. The 2nd of May, the Almanack says, 
was the invention of the cross, and the same day, 
at night, were the leaden popes burnt in the 
place where it stood, with ringing of bells and 
great acclamation, and no hurt at all done in 
these actions." 

There is a print extant of the demolition of the 
cross, with workmen on ladders, hammering at 
the statues, and two men pulling down the fmial 
cross with ropes, with a surrounding of horsemen, 
and beyond a body of troops with banners and 
uplifted weapons. A copy of the print is given 
in Old and New London, vol. i., p. 331. 

In connection with that event a multitude of 
pamphlets appeared on both sides of the question, 
which may be seen in the Guildhall Library. 


From the mass we select two for notice, the 
former especially as showing that the Cheapside 
'prentices were then a power in the city worthy 
of being courted by flattery and adulation. 
Generally they adhered to the Puritanical side, 
but it would appear that there were some 
amongst them who held opposite views, from 
their coming forth with their clubs to prevent the 
demolition of the Cross ; or it may be that they 
looked upon their Cross as a sort of palladium ; 
had come to venerate it, and not being so bigoted 
as some of the Puritans, did not care to see it 
demolished. The title of the pamphlet runs 
thus : " The Doleful lamentation of Cheapside 
Crosse : or, Old England sick of the Staggers : 
Together with the hearty thanks, which I, 
Jasper Crosse, hath lately returned to those 
noble-minded and gentele-bred 'prentices there- 
abouts, for rescuing my honour from being 
ravished, especially to Robert York, who 
was my chief protector at that time. London, 

The second pamphlet, dated 1643, is entitled, 
" The Downfall of Dagon ; or, the Taking Downe 
of Cheapside Crosse, the 2nd of May, 1643. 
Wherein is contained these principalls following. 


viz. : 1. Cheapside Crosse sick at the heart. 
2. His death and funerall. 3. His will, legacies, 
inventory, and epitaph. 4. The reason why it 
was taken down, and the authority for it. 

5. The benefit and profite that is made of the 
materialls of it, and the severall summes of 
money which is offered for it. Likewise the 
satisfaction it will give to thousands of people. 

6. Notes worthy of the reader's observation that 
the crosse should just happen to bee taken downe 
on that day which crosses \vere first invented and 
set up." 

We have now brought down the annals of 
Cheapside to comparatively modern and more 
prosaic times. 

We no longer see the splendid pageantry 
and quaint festivities of the Norman, 
Plantagenet, and Tudor eras, with their bon- 
fires, cresset-bearers, morrice-dancers, mummers, 
allegorical pageants, and house-fronts hung with 
tapestries, and other such textures. The joust, 
and tournaments, the setting of the Midsummer 
watch, and other curious and picturesque 
spectacles, are things of the past. It is true we 
still have the Lord Mayor's Show, and the 
procession to Westminster, but passing along the 


embankment instead of in the civic barges. We 
still retain the men in armour and the old gilt 
coach, and have representatives of the city 
companies in olden-time costumes, and we some- 
times introduce novelties, such as a group of 
elephants mounted by " Africans." 

Street Mitbin anfc Wttbout. 

SOME fourteen or fifteen centuries ago what 
is now Bishopsgate Street Within was a 
fashionable suburb of the Roman Londinium, the 
Belgravia or South Kensington of the period, 
where the aristocracy and wealth of the City 
located itself and built magnificent mansions after 
the fashion of Rome, with columns, frescoes, and 
tesselated pavements, such as we see in the 
disinterred city of Pompeii. In the streets 
might then be seen charioteers driving rapidly 
along to contend in the chariot race ; fair ladies 
going to witness the gladiatorial displays in the 
amphitheatre ; bronzed soldiers from many a 
distant province of the empire ; slaves groaning 
beneath heavy burdens or employed in laborious 
occupations all mixed up with the ordinary 
traffic of a considerable city. Northward, 
stretching eastward and westward, ran the City 
wall, a portion of which may still be seen in the 
street call London Wall, adorned with stately 
towers and bastions, one of the latter having 


been exposed to public view by the opening of a 
pathway through St. Giles's Churchyard. There 
was, however, no gateway in this part of the 
wall, as beyond lay an untraversable morass, and 
beyond that a forest extending to and up the 
heights of Highgate, Muswell Hill, etc., those 
who wished to go northward from the city having 
to go eastward to Aldgate or westward to 
Aldersgate. This probably was the reason why 
the rich selected this portion of the environs of 
the City for their residence, as being more 
retired and quiet than in the vicinity of a 
thoroughfare leading to a City outlet. 

Of these mansions of the patricians of 
Londinium several vestiges have been found. 
On the site of St. Helen's, the foundations of 
large edifices have been laid bare. In 1707, at 
the corner of Camomile Street, a fine tesselated 
pavement was found ; in 1752 another at the side 
of St. Helen's Gateway; in 1761 another in 
Camomile Street; and in 1836 a splendid 
specimen, in red, white, and grey, at the 
north-west angle of Crosby Square, besides 
fragments elsewhere. 

This, however, was only in the later period of 
the Roman rule. When they had subdued the 


Trinobantes, they found the capital of the 
country, although a place of commercial 
importance, merely a scattered collection of round 
huts with trackways in the midst, extending from 
Tower Hill to the Fleet River and from the 
Thames to Cheapside and Cornhill, defended on 
the north by earthworks, felled trees, and a 
ditch ; and in midst of these huts they erected 
more substantial houses, with towers at the 
eastern and western extremities, and probably a 
temple to Diana, where St. Paul's Cathedral now 
stands. The northern outskirts, now Bishopsgate 
Street Within was appropriated as a burial-place, 
as they never buried their dead in the midst of 
the living ; but in process of time the exigencies 
of the increasing population demanded an 
extension of the City boundaries, and they built 
over the old grave-yard, making a new cemetery 
on the site of the modern Bishopsgate Street 
Without, Shoreditch, and the fenlands lying 
eastward and westward of these. In 1576, when 
digging for clay near where Christ Church, 
Spitalfields, now stands, a great number of 
cinerary urns were found, containing burnt 
human remains, and in each a piece of coin, 
wherewith to pay Charon for ferrying the defunct 


across the Styx ; also, as Stow says, "divers vials 
and other old-fashioned glasses most cunningly 
wrought, such as I have not seen the like of, all 
which had water in them, differing from spring 
water" (lachrymatories), "cups and dishes of red 
earthenware and three or four images of white 
earth, about a span long, one of Pallas.'' Under 
the Camomile tesselated pavement, found in 
1706, lay two feet of rubbish, and beneath that 
several funeral urns. Stone and timber coffins 
have also been found, or rather the nails of the 
latter, a quarter of a yard long, the wood having 
perished, and a Roman vault in St BotolplVs 
Churchyard, all these, with skeletons or decayed 
bones in them, indicating burial after Christianity 
had become the religion of the empire, when the 
custom of burning the dead was abandoned. 

The Saxons despised the effeminacy of 
decorated architecture and luxurious appliances 
in the way of household furniture, hence when 
they came into possession of London they 
allowed the sumptuous dwellings of the Romans 
to fall into decay and crumble to dust, preferring 
then- own rough and uncomely habitations built 
of wood, but afterwards built their churches, 
monasteries, and public buildings generally of 


stone, and thus Roman London passed 

The Saxons found it necessary to have another 
exit from the city northward between Aldgate 
and Aldersgate Street, and pierced the wall at the 
end of the street running from the river, what- 
ever it may then have been called, and erected 
there a new gate. Erkenwald, Bishop of 
London, 679-97, has been credited with the work, 
but as this is only based upon the discovery, 
near by, of the statue of a rnitred bishop, which 
it was presumed represented St. Erkenwald, the 
tradition may be doubted, but it was 
unquestionably this supposition which gave it the 
name of Bishops' Gate. 

There are four churches in London dedicated 
to St. Botolph " the Briton/' all situated by 
gates, Aldgate, Aldersgate, Billingsgate, and 
Bishopsgate. The latter lays claim to having 
been founded by the ancient British Christians, 
but, more probably, was built by the Saxons and 
dedicated to the British monk St. Botolph. It 
has been rebuilt no doubt several times since 
then. It escaped the ravages of the fire of 1666, 
but having become very much dilapidated, an Act 
of Parliament was obtained at the beginning of the 


last century for rebuilding it, by means of a rate 
of two shillings in the pound upon all household 
property in the parish, payable by the landlords, 
but this proving insufficient a parish rate was 
laid to supply the deficiency. It was commenced 
in 1725, and re-opened in 1728, having cost (there 
is nothing like precision) 10,444 Is. 8^d. 

Tradition says that it was the burial-place of 
a brother of King Lud. The present building 
contains the tombs of Sir Paul Finder ; Edward 
Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College ; 
William, Earl of Devonshire, from whom 
Devonshire Square takes its name ; and in the 
churchyard lies Hodges Shoughshware, " the 
chiefest servant of the King of Persia, who came 
from the King of Persia and died in his service, 
1626, and Maghmote, his wife." The epitaph is 
in Persian, and entreats that all Persians who 
may read it will pray for their souls. 

The Rev. Stephen Gorson, author of The 
School of Abuse, was rector of St. Botolph. 

The venerable church of St. Helen is situated 
on the eastern side of the street, standing back 
and approached by an archway. Popular 
tradition ascribes its origin to the Emperor 

Constantine in honour of his mother, which is 



doubtless an error, but it unquestionably dates 
from the Saxon age, as in 1010 the relics of King 
Edmund the Martyr were temporarily deposited 
within its walls, when brought from East Anglia, 
to prevent their desecration at the hands of the 
Danes. In the twelfth century the advowson 
appears to have been held by one Ranulph, as in 
the reign of Henry II., circa 1180, he and his 
son, Robert Fitz-Ranulph, made a grant of it to 
the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral. 
About half a century later, circa 1212, William 
Fitz- William, a London goldsmith, and ancestor 
of the extant Earls Fitzwilliam, founded in 
connection with it a priory for nuns of the order of 
St. Benedict, which was dedicated to the Holy 
Cross and St. Helen, the prioress on her election 
to swear fealty to the Dean and Chapter, who 
transferred to the priory the advowson of the 

The church seems originally to have had 
simply a chancel and nave, without transepts or 
aisles, but when the priory was attached, it was 
duplicated by building another nave, and thus 
presented the appearance of a double-aisled 
church without an intermediate nave. A wall of 
division ran along the middle, one of the aisles 


being appropriated to the parishioners and the 
other to the nuns. It is to be feared that the 
fair inmates of the nunnery were not always very 
strict in their devotional exercises and seclusion 
from the outer world, and were even sometimes 
so naughty as to be subjected to punishments, 
one of which was being shut up in the crypt, 
which still exists, with the gratings, through 
which they could hear the service of the church 
without being present. Reginald Kentwode, 
dean of St. Paul's, in his periodical visitations, 
found so many "defautes and excesses" that he 
felt constrained to draw up a fresh code of rules 
for the regulation of the house, the original of 
which is amongst the Cotton MSS. in the 
British Museum. 

Willyam Basynge, Sheriff of London. 1309, 
added considerably to the buildings, and came 
to be regarded as the second founder. 

The seal of the priory was an oval, representing 
the Empress Helena standing by the cross (which 
she found in the Holy Land and brought to 
Europe) with the nails in her hand, and on the 
opposite side worshippers in the act of adoration. 
An impression of it is pendant from a deed in the 
possession of the Leathersellers' Company, and 


an engraving of it is given in Malcolm's London 
Rediv., vol. in., p. 548. 

At the dissolution of the priory the site was 
given to Richard Williams, one of the visitors of 
the monasteries, in exchange for certain lands in 
Huntingdonshire. He assumed the name of 
Cromwell, being a kinsman of Cromwell, Earl of 
Essex, and was ancestor of the Protector, Oliver 
Cromwell. The dividing wall in the church was 
taken down and the whole of the space 
appropriated to the use of the parishioners. The 
Leathersellers purchased the nuns' hall, and 
made it the hall of their company. The priory 
buildings remained, but in a ruined state, until 
1799, when they were cleared away, and St. 
Helen's Place built on the site. A view of the 
ruins is given in Wilkinson's Londina Illustrata, 
and a picturesque view of the church and the 
Leathersellers' Hall in Malcolm's London Rediv., 

The church contained more " altar" tombs 
with recumbent and kneeling effigies than any 
other church in the City, but they suffered 
terrible mutilation from the iconoclastic zeal of 
the Puritans, many of them having been 
altogether destroyed. Sir Thomas Gresham had 


promised to build a tower, which unhappily he was 
prevented doing by death, and it was not until 
1699, that it was furnished with a steeple. The 
church has undergone many repairs and restora- 
tions, notably by Inigo Jones, 1623-4, and 
frequently in the plaster and whitewash style of 
decoration. The last and most judicious restora- 
tion was carried out in 1867-8, and the venerable 
old church may now be seen, after weathering so 
many storms, with its graceful Gothic arches, its 
groupings of tombs and monuments, the nuns' 
grating in the crypt, its grotesque heads, and over 
one of the doors the black figure of St. Helena. 
for which hundreds of pounds have been offered 
by foreign Catholics, and refused ; with many of 
the same features that were looked at by the 
Gneshanis, the Crosbys, and other old parishioners 
of the Norman, Plantagenet. and Tudor ages. 
with the addition of some modern stained 
windows and an organ built in 1742. and rebuilt 
in 1868. The rectory was sold by Queen 
Elizabeth to Michael and Edward Stanhope, with 
the proviso of paying a stipend of 20 per annum 
to a vicar. Amongst the tombs are those of Sir 
Thomas Gresham, a splendid monument; Sir 
John Crosby, in full armour, and his wife, one of 


the oldest remaining ; Sir John Lawrence, the 
noble Lord Mayor of the Plague year ; Sir John 
Spencer, "Rich Spencer," whose daughter and 
heiress eloped with her lover, Compton, in a 
baker's basket. 

St. Ethelburga is a small and very ancient 
church, squeezed almost out of sight by 
intervening parasitic shops ; when or by whom 
founded not known, but most probably in the 
Saxon age. In an old print it is represented 
with a spire similar to that in Langham Place. 
It escaped the fire of 1666, was repaired and 
"beautified" in 1694, and again in 1701. St. 
Ethelburga was the daughter of Ethelbert, the 
first Christian king of Kent, and patron of St. 
Augustine ; she married Eadwine, King of 
Northumbria, the convert of St Paulinus, after 
whose death, in battle at the hands of Penda, the 
Pagan king of Mercia, she fled with her children 
and Paulinus to her brother, who had succeeded 
to the kingdom of Kent, and who nominated 
Paulinus to the see of Rochester. 

Walter Brune, citizen, and Rosia, his wife, in 
1235, founded a priory of canons and hospital for 
the sick and needy, dedicated to our blessed 
Mary, called St. Mary Spital Without, Bishops- 


gate. It was suppressed in 1539, at which time 
it made up 180 beds, and supplied the sick 
occupants with all necessaries at a cost of 478 
per annum. Outside was the pulpit where the 
famous Spital sermons were preached at Easter 
before the Mayor and Corporation, and sometimes 
royal personages, by the most eminent City 
divines. After the dissolution they were 
preached at St. Paul's, then in St. Bride's 
Church, and now in Christ Church, Xewgate 
Street. The pulpit stood on a site that now forms 
the north-east corner of Spital Square. There 
existed for 120 years in the precincts of Bishops- 
gate, near Camomile Street, a curious fraternity 
called The Papey, a religious house of St. John 
and St. Charity, sometimes called St. Augustine's 
Papey, consisting of threescore priests, governed 
by a master and two wardens. Its objects were 
to supply the necessities of the poorer clergy by 
providing them with lodgings, coals, bread, and 
ale. Xear by stood the church of St. Augustine- 
in-the-Wall, the patronage of which was vested 
in the rich Priory of the Holy Trinity, who 
presented to the living four rectors from 1321 to 
1375, but after that no one could be found to 
accept the incumbency in consequence of the 


stinginess of the Priory the stipend not being 
sufficient to live upon who therefore in 1430 
gave the church to the Papey guild. The 
fraternity was not rich in funds, and in order to 
improve their exchequer they practised the 
singing of dirges and attended funerals as 
professional mourners and dirge singers. The 
house was suppressed 2 Edwd. VI. 

From the thirteenth to the seventeenth 
century a conspicuous feature in the line of 
road leading northward from Bishopsgate was 
the Priory of Bethlehem, with its square-towered 
church, its gabled houses for the brethren and 
sisters' habitations, and its gardens, situated at 
the eastern edge of the moorland of Fensbury, a 
little beyond St. Botolph's Church, and facing 
what are now New Street and Devonshire Place. 
It was then built quite in the country, with the 
fens behind, fields in front, and no houses beyond 
it. The roadway in front was nothing more than 
a beaten trackway, almost impassable in winter, 
which when houses came to be built along it, and 
it assumed the semblance of a street, was called 
Bedlam Gate. There is no view extant of the 
priory, excepting the bird's-eye view in Aggas' 
Map, temp. Elizabeth, where there is a continuous 


line of houses along Bedlam Gate and onward to 
St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch, where the 
road apparently terminated ; eastward is the 
Spittel Fyeld, with archers and cattle ; and 
westward, Finsburie Fyeld, with windmills, 
bowmen practising at the butts, and women 
spreading out linen to dry. 

The priory was founded in 1246 by Simon 
Fitz-Marie, sheriff of London in the same year, 
for brethren and sisters, canons of the Order of 
the Star of Bethlehem, subject to the Bishop of 
Bethlehem, to whom they had to pay one mark 
yearly at Easter. Their habit was a black gown 
with a star embroidered on the breast. When it 
became a hospital for lunatics is not known, but 
there are records of sick persons being nursed 
there in 1330, and of insane patients in 1403, 
when six of the latter and three of the former 
were maintained in the house. Weaver tells us 
that at one time there was " a house for 
distraught and lunaticke people" at Charing 
Cross, and that some king, he did not know who, 
not liking to have an establishment of people of 
that class so near his palace, packed them off to 
Bethlem Priory, which was probably the 
beginning of its career as a hospital for the insane. 


The Hospital-Priory does not appear to have 
been very amply provided with funds, as in 1403 
some of the houses were alienated, for the 
purpose seemingly of raising money, and the 
brethren had to go .abroad collecting alms for the 
sustenance of the inmates. In 1523, one Stephen 
Gunnings, a merchant tailor, left 40 in trust to 
the Corporation for purchasing the house, to be 
continued as a receptacle for lunatics, and the 
Mayor took some steps for that purpose ; but 
before they were carried out it was granted to 
the Corporation, after the Dissolution, by King 
Henry VIII., who placed it in charge of the 
governors of Christ's Hospital in 1556, and the 
following year transferred it to the governors of 
Bridewell. In 1555 the income, arising chiefly 
out of rents, amounted to 43 4s. 8d. per annum, 
and by 1632 they were valued at 470, which, 
not being all forthcoming, was inadequate for the 
support of the house, and the Spital preachers 
were directed to appeal to their hearers on its 
behalf, there being then forty-four lunatics within 
the walls, the revenues paying only two-thirds of 
the cost of their maintenance. Besides, there 
were so many pressing cases for admission, that 
it became necessary to discharge many of the 


half-cured and less violent patients, to whom 
were granted licences for begging, and they went 
abroad, dressed fantastically, singing "mad 
songs," and imploring food or money. They 
went by the name of " Tom o' Bedlams," and are 
alluded to by Shakespeare in King Lear, where 

he says 

" With a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam." 

In the reign of Elizabeth the church and 
chapel were taken down, and houses built on the 
site ; and in the following century, the buildings 
having become ruinous and much too small for 
the constantly increasing patients, it was resolved 
to build a new and larger hospital. The 
Corporation made a grant of land on the southern 
margin of Finsbury Moors, where the Liverpool 
Street railway stations now stand, and the public 
contributed 17,000 towards its erection. It 
was commenced in 1644, and completed in 1676 ; 
and in 1732 two wings were added, which made 
the entire length of the building 540 feet, with a 
depth of forty feet. The style adopted was that 
of the Tuileries in Paris, which so offended Louis 
XIV. that he caused some out-offices of a more 
useful and less dignified character to be built in the 
style of St. James's Palace, London. It was 


adorned with figures of raving and melancholy 
madness from the chisel of Caius Gibber, which 
are now in the hall of the present hospital. 

The estates belonging to the hospital after- 
wards rapidly increased in value, and at the 
beginning of the present century the governors 
found themselves in a position to build a larger 
and better-planned building, and purchased a 
large plot of land in St. George's Fields, which 
with the new hospital cost 100,000. The total 
income is now about 20,000 per annum. 

Until towards the end of the last century the 
insane were treated in a most barbarous way. 
Nakedness, chains, scourgings, and solitary 
confinement were their lot, calculated rather to 
intensify than alleviate their aberration of 
intellect, without any of the modern appliances of 
modern asylums music, flowers, prints, books, 
amusements, cheerful society, and comparative 
liberty which are now found to be essential 
towards their recovery. A good idea of the old 
style of madhouse may be obtained from the 
eighth plate of Hogarth's series of " The Rake's 
Progress," which represents a scene in the 
Moorfields Bedlam. 

A few years ago a skeleton of a dwarf with 


fetters on the legs was dug up near Bishopsgate, 
supposed to be that of a patient of Bedlam. The 
road in front of the second hospital was formerly 
called " Old Bethlem " and was changed to 
Liverpool Street in honour of Lord Liverpool, 
Prime Minister 1812-27. 

The Hon. Artillery Company, which originated 
here, removed to the present Artillery Ground in 
City Road in 1622, and has numbered amongst 
its officers Charles II., when Prince of Wales ; 
James II., when Duke of York, after the 
Restoration ; and George IV., when Prince of 
Wales, as Captain in Command. The old Artillery 
Ground in Bishopsgate Street has left 
reminiscences of its existence in the names of 
Artillery Lane, Artillery Passage, Gun Street, 
and Fort Street. 

From a very remote period has the company 
of Leathersellers been connected with Bishops- 
gate Street and its vicinity. In the Norman age 
the tanners, curriers, and leather dressers 
clustered about Cripplegate and further eastward, 
where the stream of Walbrook entered the City, 
that locality being the Bermondsey of the period. 
The Company is supposed to have been formed 
in the Saxon times, but little or nothing is 


known of it until 1372, when the wardens and 
seniors presented a petition to the Corporation 
praying that stringent measures might be put in 
force against fraudulent craftsmen who used 
inferior dyes for staining their skins. They were 
incorporated in 1397-8, and were re-incorporated 
by Henry VI. in 1444, with power to elect four 
wardens and fifteen members of the court, and to 
use a seal with arms. The charter is a 
magnificent specimen of penmanship, and 
beautifully illuminated. There is a picture 
extant of the king presenting the charter to the 
four kneeling wardens in livery dresses of red and 
blue, furred at the edges, descending to the knees, 
and fastened at the waist with a girdle garnished 
with white metal. By this charter they were 
empowered to regulate the mystery in London, 
which powers were enlarged by Henry VII. , who 
extended their supervision of the trade throughout 
the kingdom. In 1604 James I. granted them a 
new charter, which, like that of Henry VI., is a 
wonderfully fine specimen of art, with an 
emblazonry of the company's arms and an 
illumination of eight liverymen in their robes of 
office black gowns trimmed with " foins," hoods 
of scarlet, and black flat caps. 


The first hall of the company was built in 
1445, in the parish of All Saints' by the Wall, 
south of the present Finsbury Circus, where now 
stand Leathersellers' Buildings. A century after 
it became too small, and a portion of the site and 
buildings of the dissolved priory of St. Helen was 
purchased in 1543, and the nuns' hall converted 
into that of the company, which, with alterations 
and embellishments, came to be for a long time 
the finest livery hall in London. The ceiling was 
enriched with beautiful pendants, and at the end 
was a splendid Elizabethan screen, elaborately 
decorated. In the courtyard was a pump with 
the figure of a mermaid, from whose breast issued 
wine on gala occasions. It was the work of 
Gibber, who gave it in 1679, in payment of 
his admission fee to the membership of the 

In 1799 the hall was sold along with other of the 
prior} T buildings, to clear the site for the building 
of St. Helen's Place. A new hall was built on 
the same site, but with new fittings, all the 
antique decorations of the old hall having been 
disposed of. This, the third hall, was destroyed 
by fire in 1819, the valuable collection of records 
being fortunately saved, and the present hall, 


occupying the north-east corner of St. Helen's 
Place, was built 1820-22. 

The first record book of the company 
commences November 12th, 1472, with the 
following as the earliest entry : 

" Wyllyam J. Curtes gave to us this boke, 

For to regystre every wardenn's tyme in ; 
Pray for hym when ye doe loke, 

That God will reward hym. Amen." 

There are a'lmshouses of the company in 
Clarke's Court, St. Helen's: White's Alley, 
Coleman Street ; and Hart Street, Cripplegate. 

Excepting the Borough High Street, perhaps no 
street in London had so many famous old inns, 
with galleried court-yards, cross-timbered walls, 
quaint gables, and latticed windows, as Bishops- 
gate Street, established for the accommodation of 
carriers and travellers from the north-eastern 
towns. Amongst them were the White Hart ; 
formerly the Magpie, which stood by the gateway 
of Bethlem Priory, supposed to have been 
originally the hostelry of the priory, afterwards 
an inn for travellers who arrived after the gate 
was shut for the night. It seems, from a date on 
the wall, to have been rebuilt in 1480, and was 
standing in 1810, when a view was taken 


representing it with a double range of bay 
windows. It was again rebuilt in 1829, and stood 
at the corner of Liverpool Street. The Bull, 
where Burbage and his companions obtained a 
patent from Queen Elizabeth for the performance 
of theatricals in the quadrangle, the spectators 
occupying the surrounding galleries. This was 
the inn to which old Hobson, the Cambridge 
carrier, resorted, from whom came the saying of 
" Hobson's choice " that or none. On a wall of 
the inn was his effigy, in fresco, clutching a money 
bag, with an inscription " The fruitful mother 
of a hundred more." 

The Green Dragon, an old Tudor house. The 
Catherine Wheel still a earners' house. The 
King's Head, at the corner of Spital Square. 
The Wrestlers, a large inn, and the Angel, were 
in existence temp. Henry VI. The City of 
London Tavern, with pillared facade, famous in 
modern times for its public dinners, was converted, 
in 1839, into the Wesleyan Centenary Hall, 
established in commemoration of the centennial 
year of the formation of the Society of 

On the eastern side of the street, within and 
near to the gate, were certain tenements belonging 


to a fraternity of St. Nicholas, which were given 
(27 Henry VI.) to the Company of Parish Clerks 
for the maintenance of two chaplains in the 
Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, near the 
Guildhall, and behind these stood the hall of the 
Parish Clerks, and seven almshouses for the poor, 
to one of whom was given sixteenpence and the 
other six ninepence per week. 

The Post-office, which had been in Cloak Lane, 
Dowgate, was removed after the fire of 1666, to 
the Black Swan, in Bishopsgate Street, whence it 
was removed to Lombard Street, and subsequently 
to St. Martin-le-Grand. 

We have noticed the palatial character of the 
Bishopsgate quarter of Roman Londinum, 
vestiges of its splendour having been frequently 
disinterred in recent times, in attestation of the 
fact. A thousand years afterwards it again 
became a district of sumptuous mansions palaces, 
not of the Roman patricians, but of the merchant 
princes of the modern metropolis of the world. 
Most fortunately, the ravages of the great fire of 
'66 only extended to the borders of the ward, and 
thus have been preserved to us those precious 
architectural relics of Crosby House ; and the 
churches of St. Helen and St. Ethelburga. The 


quaint old house of Sir Paul Pindar, has just 
been taken down. 

Sir John Crosby was born circa 1420, and died 
in 1475; he was a grocer (a wholesale merchant) 
and woolman, and at one time Mayor of the 
Staple at Calais. He was elected an alderman in 
1465; served the office of sheriff in 1471, in 
which year he was knighted by Edward IV., and 
represented the City in Parliament in the year 
1461. He was a zealous Yorkist, in high favour 
with Edward IV., particularly distinguished 
himself in the defence of the City against the 
Lancastrian admiral, the Bastard of Faucon- 
bridge, and is introduced by Heywood, in his 
drama of King Edward IV. In 1466 he took on 
lease from the Prioress of St. Helen's certain 
tenements for a period of ninety-nine years, at a 
rent of 11 6s. 8d. per annum, which he demolished, 
and built on the site " ye highest and fairest house 
in ye citie," which he did not enjoy long, as it was 
only completed four years before his death. Of 
its grandeur we may form some conception from 
what remains of it after the fire of 1674, 
especially the great hall, fifty-four feet long, 
twenty-seven and a half feet broad, and forty feet 
high, with its oriel windows eleven feet in 


breadth, and extending from the floor to the 
ceiling, and its timbered roof of surpassing 
beauty. Around this old mansion many most 
interesting historical associations have clustered. 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, inhabited it for some 
time, and it figures in Shakespeare's pages as the 
place where he concocted his plot for the murder 
of his nephews, his marriage with his niece, which 
he could not accomplish, and the usurpation of 
the throne. From 1516 to 1523, it was the 
abode of Sir Thomas More, where it is supposed 
he wrote his Utopia. 

It has been occupied by several aldermen, some 
of whom held their mayoralty there, amongst 
others, Alderman Bond, who added a turret to 
the building ; Sir John Spencer, who built a 
large warehouse behind it ; Sir Bartholomew 
Read, Lord Mayor, who entertained Catherine of 
Arragon for two or three days within its walls, 
previous to her marriage with Prince Arthur. 
The Emperor Maximilian lodged there when in 
London in 1502 ; Queen Elizabeth came there in 
1594 to witness a masque by some law students, 
and the famous Countess of Pembroke made it 
her residence for some time, where it is probable 
Shakespeare visited her. During the Civil War 


it was made a prison for captured Royalists, after 
which the great hall was converted into a 
Presbyterian chapel. In 1678 the drawing-room 
and throne room were used as warehouses by the 
East India Company, and afterwards as a packer's 
workrooms, when they sustained a great deal of 
mutilation. In 1831, it was advertised to be sold 
for demolition, but some spirited persons came 
forward and rescued it from that fate, besides 
restoring and repairing it. From 1842 to 1860 
it was a literary institute, and is now a restaurant, 
the proprietor having with great good taste pre- 
served all the old features, and in the necessary 
additional buildings has adhered to the same style. 
It is supposed to have consisted originally of two 
quadrangles, separated by the great hall, and that 
it had a facade of 100 feet in length to Bishopsgate 

Sir John gave 500 marks towards the restora- 
tion of St. Helen's Church, and his arms were 
placed on the walls and in the windows. He was 
thrice married, and had an only son, who died 
without issue, the line thus becoming extinct. 

Sir Paul Pindar was a notable merchant and 
diplomatist, minister of James I. in Turkey, who 
was born about the end of the sixteenth or 


beginning of the seventeenth century, and died in 
1650. On his return from Turkey he brought 
with him a diamond valued at 30,000, which the 
king wished to purchase " on tick," but the 
cautious merchant, not having sufficient confidence 
in his credit, declined to let him have it on those 
terms. However, he agreed to lend it to him 
to flash it in the eyes of his subjects on State 
occasions. He afterwards sold it to Charles I., 
but most probably was never paid for it. He 
was reputed to have been worth a quarter of a 
million sterling at one time, an enormous sum for 
that period. He gave 18,000 towards the 
repairs of St. Paul's Cathedral, and expended 
other sums on charitable and philanthropic 
objects, but although so wealthy he lost so much 
money in bad debts, arising out of loans to Kings 
James I. and Charles I. that he fell into compara- 
tive poverty, and died in debt himself. 

He erected for his residence a magnificent 
house on the western side of the street, without 
the gate, a portion of whose picturesque frontal 
remaining in 1890, attracted the notice and 
admiration of every passer-by. It was a fine 
specimen of Elizabethan architecture, and richly 
decorated both without and within. There were 


rooms with wainscoted walls, sculptured chimney- 
pieces, and ceilings profusely ornamented, but 
most of them terribly mutilated ; one splendid 
ceiling represented the sacrifice of Isaac, with a 
radiation of beautiful ornamentation. Behind 
the house was a park, with mulberry trees, some 
of which were only cut down within the present 
century ; and near by, in Halfmoon Alley, stood 
a house, with sculptural details, which is supposed 
to have been the gatekeeper's lodge. A small 
portion with a narrow frontage was converted 
into a tavern, with the sign of the Sir Paul 
Pindar, which has just been taken down by the 
Great Eastern Railway. 

Devonshire House. Built by one Jasper 
Fisher, around which he laid out extensive 
pleasure grounds. It was held by the Caven- 
dishes until 1670, but in the interval, during the 
ascendency of the Puritans, had been taken 
possession of by them, and made use of as a 
chapel. Butler, in his Hudibras, describes the 
Rump Parliament as like 

" No part of the nation 
But Fisher's folly congregation." 

After this it was opened as a " Bank of 
Credit,'"' a sort of pawnshop, which did not last 


long, as by 1708, Devonshire Square was built, 
described by Hatton as " a pretty, though very 
small square, inhabited by gentry and other 

Sir Thomas Gresham, the wealthy and 
munificent founder of the Royal Exchange, was 
born circa 1519; died, 1579; was knighted, 
1559; married Anne, daughter of William 
Fernley, and relict of William Read, and had 
issue an only son, Richard, who died v.p. and s.p. 

He was a parishioner of St. Helen's, and in 
that parish he built his house, which Stow 
describes as " the most spacious thereabouts, 
builded of brick and timber," and that is about all 
he could say in eulogy of it, for it appears, from 
engravings of it, to have been more remarkable 
for size than for architectural grandeur. It was 
built in the Flemish style, chiefly by Flemish 
workmen, and extended from the west side of 
Bishopsgate Street to Broad Street. It consisted 
of a quadrangle of two galleried stories, with 
gabled attics ; a piazza and rows of trees running 
round, giving it a quiet, collegiate air, and a 
picturesque aspect, and was surrounded by 
gardens and pleasure grounds, with trees. It was 


commenced about the year 1559, and was finished 
in 1562. Within its walls Sir Thomas enter- 
tained Queen Elizabeth, and had the custody of 
the Lady Mary Grey. 

At his death he left it to his widow for life, 
and at her decease in trust to the Corporation of 
London and the Mercers 1 Company, to be 
converted into a College of Professors, with 
salaries of 50 per annum, to lecture weekly on 
divinity, astronomy, music, law. geometry, 
medicine, and rhetoric, for the gratuitous 
instruction of the young citizens of London, 
which were commenced in 1597. Amongst the 
professors were several eminent men, one of 
whom was Sir Christopher Wren, who. in 
conjunction with others, there laid the foundation 
of the Royal Society. The trustees allotted two 
rooms to the Society, one for their meetings, the 
other for their books and philosophical instru- 
ments. Pepys tells of King Charles making 
merry over the people of Gresham House, and 
Boyle in particular, amusing themselves with the 
child's play of weighing air. The society met at 
Gresham House until 1710. when they removed 
to Crane Court. 

After the Great Fire of 1666, when nearly all 


the public buildings were destroyed, Gresham 
House became the Mansion House and residence 
of the Lord Mayor, the Law Courts, and the 
Exchange, the merchants assembling in the 
quadrangle, where they remained until their 
establishments were rebuilt. 

The collegiate lectures were not properly 
appreciated, and became almost sinecures to the 
professors, until in 1768-70 the Government, 
wanting an excise office in the City, agreed with 
the trustees to take a perpetual lease of the site, 
at the absurdly low rental of 500 per annum, 
the trustees to take down the buildings, to do 
which cost them 1,800. The lectures were then 
removed to a dull, upper room in the Exchange, 
where they were delivered until the destruction 
of the Exchange by fire, in 1838, when they were 
given in the City of London School, until the 
opening of the New Gresham Lecture Hall, in 
Basinghall Street, in 1843. 

Dashwood House stood westward of St. 
Botolph's Churchyard, and was the City mansion 
of the Dashwood family ; afterwards it is 
supposed to have been the residence of Lady 
Jane Grey. It was subsequently converted into 
the Ottoman Bank, and Consular and Mercantile 


Offices ; has recently been taken down, and a 
colossal block constructed for suites of offices. 

There are many other fine old houses in the 
ward, dating from before the Fire, whose fronts 
have been modernised by building up the space 
beneath the overhanging upper floors and 
removing the gables, but which retain many of 
their olden time features at their backs, and are 
still adorned in their interiors with fine 
balustraded staircases, carved chimney pieces, and 
timber-work ceilings. 

Another house of a somewhat different but 
very useful character stood in Bishopsgate Street. 
In 1649 the Corporation of London founded a 
house called the London Workhouse, " for the 
entertainment of the greatest objects of com- 
miseration, but likewise to receive a great number 
of the miserable and unhappy vagi-ant orphans 
known by the infamous name of ' blackguard/ the 
pest and shame of the City, pilfering and begging 
about the streets by day, and lying therein, 
almost naked, in all seasons of the year by night." 
In 1662 a charter of incorporation was granted, 
under the name of " The President (always the 
Lord Mayor) and Governors of the Poor of the 
City of London." In 1700 a large house was 


built for the reception of these objects of charity, 
and in 1704 it is recorded that "368 children 
were fed, clothed, and taught to work and the 
principles of religion ; " besides whom there were 
" maintained and employed 653 vagabonds, sturdy 
beggars, and other idle and disorderly persons." 
It was taken down early in the present century, 
the Poor law administration rendering it super- 

In the Parish of St. Helen's there lived and 
died a man of eccentric opinions and evil 
reputation, very different in character from his 
neighbours, the merchant princes of Bishopsgate. 
His name was Francis Bancroft, and his vocation 
that of a summoning officer in the Lord Mayor's 
Court, in which capacity he made a large fortune 
by issuing false summonses, " not only pillaging 
the poor, but likewise many of the rich, who, 
rather than lose time in appearing before the said 
magistrate, gave money to get rid of this 
common pest of the citizens." He was so much 
detested that at his funeral the populace nearly 
jostled his coffin off the shoulders of the bearers, 
and they set the bells ringing " for joy at his 
unlamented death." 

He entertained an eccentric notion that in a 


certain Dumber of years after his death he should 
return to life and occupy his original position in 
the City, and in accordance with this idea had a 
vault, with folding doors and glass in the panels, 
constructed in St. Helen's Church, and a coffin 
with hinges only, not screwed down, so that 
when he came to life he would have nothing to 
do but to step out of his coffin, open the 
doors of the vault, and walk out. His 
name is remembered by his having bequeathed 
27,000 for the foundation of almshouses 
for twenty-four poor almsmen, a chapel, a school 
for one hundred poor boys, and houses for two 
masters. The money was left in trust to the 
Drapers' Company, who erected the buildings at 
Mile-end in 1735. There was a proviso in the 
will that the trustees should visit his tomb and 
look upon his body, in May every year for ever, 
failing which the money to be diverted to other 
purposes. They have long discontinued the 
custom, but still hold the trust, and although the 
testator has now lain 150 years in his unfastened 
coffin, he has not come forth yet to rectify this 
direliction of duty on the part of the Drapers. 

From a very early period has Bishopsgate 
Street and Ward been a centre of Nonconformity. 


Maitland, writing 1725-36, refers to three 
Presbyterian, two Independents, and one Quaker's 
meeting houses in the parishes of St Botolph and 
St. Helen. The Devonshire Square Baptist 
church was, excepting one in Kent, the oldest in 
England, and in its early years suffered much 
from persecution. It migrated hither from 
Wapping in 1638, and occupied a part of 
Devonshire House, or, as it was popularly called, 
Fisher's Folly. The chapel was built in 1653, 
which was taken possession of by the Episco- 
palians after the fire, and used for Church of 
England services until the churches of London 
were rebuilt. It continued to flourish until, the 
Metropolitan Railway requiring the site, it was 
taken down and a new Gothic chapel, with spire, 
built at Stoke Newington out of the proceeds of 
the sale, at a cost of 11,000. It has had several 
notable ministers, the most remarkable being 
William Kaffin, who made an eminent figure 
among the Antipcedo-Baptists of the 17th 

Crosby Hall Independent Church. The Rev. 
Thos. Watson, whose chief work was " A body of 
Divinity," consisting of 176 sermons, fol., 1792, 
posth. Stephen Charnock, B.D. Benjamin 


Grosvenor, D.D., a very eminent man, who held 
the pastorate from 1704 to 1749, one of the most 
popular preachers in London ; and was also lecturer 
in the Old Jewry, at the Weigh House, and at 
Sailers' Hall. Portrait in Dr. Williams' library. 
Edmund Calamy, B.D., son of Dr. Edni. 
Calarny, author of the "Nonconformist Memorial." 
On the expiration of the lease in 1799. the 
congregation was dispersed, and the chapel was 
rented by James Relly, a rough and uncultured 
Welshman, but a powerful preacher, who estab- 
lished a church of Rellyanists or Rellyan 
Universal ists, who held a species of anti-noniian 
doctrine. He was author of some controversial 
works, now altogether forgotten. 

A Presbyterian meeting-house was erected in 
Little St. Helen's in 1672, under the Indulgence, 
which became a place of importance in the annals 
of Nonconformity. Within its walls the first 
public ordination of Xonconformist ministers took 
place, and the Coward Lecture preached there from 
1721, till the demolition of the chapel. There 
was also a seven o'clock morning lecture, preached 
every Sunday in the summer months, to 
commemorate the accession of the House of 
Hanover. The first minister, he who took out 


the licence and collected the congregation, was 
the learned and pious Samuel Annesley, LL.D., 
the ejected of St. Giles's Cripplegate, formerly 
rector of Cliffe, Kent, and of St. Matthew's, 
Friday Street, London, lecturer at St. Paul's, and 
one of the preachers at Whitehall during the 
Protectorate. He was first cousin to Arthur 
Annesley, Earl of Anglesey ; was a popular 
preacher, and author of some published sermons 
and other works. He continued in the pastorate 
until his death in 1694. Anne, his daughter, a 
very superior woman in every respect, in piety, 
intelligence, and sound discretion, was married to 
the Rev. Samuel Wesley, vicar of Epworth, and 
bore him nineteen children, amongst whom were 
John and Charles Wesley, the founders of 

Benj. Robinson occupied the pulpit from 1701 
to 1724, a Derbyshire man, of great reputation, and 
Merchant Lecturer at Salters' Hall. After him 
the church gradually dwindled down until 1790, 
when Mr. Brown preached there for two years, 
and removed with his congregation to Shoreditch ; 
after whom Christian Frederick Trieber, with a 
Lutheran congregation, occupied it for two years, 
and on the expiration of the lease removed to 


Cheapside. Some other ministers of various 
denominations preached in the chapel for short 
periods until 1799, when it was taken down and 
houses built on the site. 

In Hand Alley, on the western side of 
Bishopsgate Without, stood a large Presbyterian 
meeting-house. On the site had been a plague 
pit, and when it was proposed to be built upon it, 
the bodies, some not entirely decomposed, 2,000 
in number, were carted away and buried in 
another pit, over which is a passage to Rose 
Alley. The chapel was built soon after 
Bartholomew Day for Thomas Vincent, famous 
for his labours amongst the poor during the 
plague of 1665, who held the pastorate until his 
death in 1678. After the fire of 1666, his chapel 
was seized by the clergyman of a City parish, who 
performed service there until his church was 
rebuilt. After him came a succession of popular 
ministers, until the beginning of the 18th 
century, when the congregation, a wealthy body, 
removed with their minister, Dr. John Evans, 
author of "A Discourse on Temper/' to a new 
chapel, which they built in 1727, in New Broad 
Street, when the old chapel was pulled down. 

A Particular Baptist Church, in Great St. 


Helens, existed during the time of the civil war, 
when the famous Hansard Knollys was the 
pastor. He was a Lincolnshire man of great 
oratorical talent, and gathered about him a 
congregation of a thousand hearers. His 
doctrines, however, were deemed irregular and 
unsound by the Presbyterians, and he was 
summoned before the Westminster assembly of 
divines, who prohibited him from preaching. 
This prohibition appears, however, to have been 
withdrawn afterwards, as from 1645 to 1691, he 
preached the doctrines in Curriers' Hall. He 
was author of " The Smoke of the Temple," " An 
Exposition of the Book of Revelations," and 
some other works, including an autobiography 
written in 1672. His death occurred in 1691, at 
the age of 93, when he was buried in Bunhill 
Fields. Portrait in Wilson's " History of the 
Dissenting Church." 

The Society of Friends have a large meeting- 
house in Bishopsgate Street, which is the 
head quarters of the society, where the annual 
meetings are held, when Friends from all parts of 
England assemble here, giving quite a picturesque 
aspect to the street, when it is thronged by them 
in their somewhat grotesque costume. Their 


first meeting-house was in Bull and Mouth 
Street, Aldersgate, which was destroyed by the 
fire of '66, rebuilt and occupied till 1744, when 
they removed to White Hart Court, Gracechurch 
Street. Many of the members of this meeting 
were the originators of some of the most eminent 
banking firms of Lombard Street, such as the 
Gurneys, the Barclays, the Hoares, the 
Hanburys, the Lloyds, the Masternians, the 
Jansons, the Osgoods, the Dinisdales, and others ; 
and it was from there that the remains of George 
Fox were carried to Bunhill Fields for burial, 
followed by 3,000 Friends. This chapel becoming 
too small for the congregation, a new one, that 
now existing, was erected in Bishopsgate Street 
on the site of the Dolphin Inn. 

In 1838 a Jews' synagogue was built in Great 
St. Helens. It is the largest in London in the 
Italian style, with a splendid interior. 

The Wesleyan Centenary Hall stands in a 
commanding position opposite the end of 
Threadneedle Street, with a fine pedimented 
range of columns. 

We have, in our historical retrospect, seen 
Bishopsgate under various aspects. In the 
Roman era, when it was a suburb of aristocratic 


residences, with all the appliances of Roman 
civilisation, and all the beauties of Roman art ; in 
the Saxon and Norman periods, with its mean 
habitations and monastic establishments, with 
cowled monks, and bare-footed friars, conspicuous 
amongst the wayfarers as they passed along the 
thoroughfare ankle deep in mud, or blinded by 
the clouds of dust from the unpaved roads ; in 
the days of the Tudors and Stuarts, when it was 
lined with picturesque gabled houses, with 
overhanging upper floors, cross timberings, and 
latticed windows ; with quaint old hostelries and 
their galleried courtyards, frequently occupied by 
fashionable crowds of spectators, witnessing the 
performances of the actors of the Elizabethan 
drama ; and with the noble mansions of the City 
magnates and merchant princes. In addition to 
these, there was the City gate and a conduit at 
each end of the street, one to the north, just 
within the gate, erected by Lord Mayor 
Knes worth in 1505 ; the other at the south end, 
at its junction with the streets of Corrihill, 
Leadenhall, and Gracious Church. The street 
was rendered more passable for pedestrians and 
vehicles by being paved in 1543, and the sloughs 
of despond, previously so characteristic of 


London thoroughfares, and so impedimental to 
locomotion, got rid of. After this followed the 
Georgian or dark age of architecture, when the 
quaint old houses of the past were replaced by 
the hideous abortions of the last and beginning of 
the present century. 

N"ow for the third time we see Bishopsgate 
Street again gradually assuming an aspect of 
architectural grandeur, which will make it in 
another fifty years one of the finest streets in 
London or any other city. Within the last few 
years there have been erected several blocks of 
buildings of a palatial character, and this process 
of transformation is still going on with great 
rapidity. Among the more notable we may 
mention the National and Provincial Bank of 
England, one of the finest buildings of Modern 
London ; the Royal Bank Buildings, the London 
and Lancashire Life Office, the Capital and 
Counties Bank, the South Sea Chambers, the 
Palmerston Buildings, the Devonshire Chambers, 
the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the block of 
offices at the rear of St. Botolph's Church. 

Slfcersgate Street ant) St. flDar tin's* 

" I "HESE two streets, forming one continuous 
-JL thoroughfare, are so intimately associated 
in their annals, that it is almost impossible to 
write the history of one of them without constant 
reference to the other. 

Aldersgate Street derives its name from the 
old City gate which was the north-western outlet 
of the City, and St. Martin's-le-Grand (formerly 
Martin's Lane) from the collegiate establishment 
which occupied the site of the older or eastern 
portion of the Post Office. In the last century, 
that portion from the Barbican to the Bars was 
called " Pick-axe Street." Aldersgate is supposed 
to have been one of the four gates of Roman 
London, and was in the line of an ancient British 
trackway, improved by the Romans into a road 
called Watling Street, which came from Dover, 
crossed the Thames by a ferry, passed along 
where the modern Watling Street is, emerged 
from the City by Aldersgate, and went onwards 


towards Verulaniium (St. Albans). As to the 
origin of the name there are various discrepant 
presumptions. Some assume that it was so 
called because it was one of the elder, or one of 
the four original gates ; others that it obtained 
its name from a Saxon one Aldrich, the builder 
or re-edifier of it; but the most probable 
assumption is that it was so denominated from 
the alder, or elder trees which grew in great 
profusion in that locality. The wall, after 
leaving Cripplegate, proceeded westward for a 
short distance, then turned at a sharp angle to 
the south, along the present Xoble Street, until 
it came to near where the Castle and Falcon 
stands, where it again took a south-westerly 
direction, past St. Botolph's Church and the 
Greyfriars' Monastery. As represented by 
Aggas's map, there were four semicircular 
bastions in the Xoble Street portion, looking 
westward, and two in the line from Xoble Street 
to Greyfriars, besides the gate at the end of St. 
Martin's Lane, which is there represented as a 
heterogeneous mass of buildings, fortified, and 
with two posterns, the centre arch being hidden 
by a low building standing in front of it. A 
little to the north-west of Cripplegate stood a 


watch-tower called the Barbican, on the north 
side of the street bearing that name. It was 
erected by the Romans, and was garrisoned by a 
cohort of soldiers, who had a threefold duty to 
perform : first to keep an outlook for approaching 
enemies, secondly to watch for the outbreak of 
fire in the City, and thirdly to keep a beacon 
blazing on the top to serve as a guide for 
travellers by night over the northern fens and 
moors. Bridgewater House, which was destroyed 
by fire in 1698, is supposed to have been built on 
the site, and now Bridgewater Square. Some 
remains of the old Barbican were to be seen here 
in the last century. 

Very little is known of the earlier history of 
Aldersgate. Stow says " This gate was antiently 
at divers times increased with buildings, namely 
on the south side, a great frame of timber was 
set up, containing many large rooms and 
lodgings ; and on the east side was the addition 
of one large building of timber with one large 
floor, paved with stone or tile, and a well therein 
curbed with stone to a great depth, and rising 
into the said room two stories high from the 

In 1610, Thomas Hayes erected a conduit a 


little way to the north of the gate, which was 
supplied with water brought in pipes from the 

It was usual to grant the rooms over the gates 
as residences for officials of the Corporation, 
those over Aldersgate being generally appro- 
priated to the city crier. There is among the 
Corporation Records a deed of grant, in Latin, 
dated 49, Edw. 3, 1378, which, translated, runs 
thus : " Be it remembered that we, William 
Walworth, Mayor of London and the Assembly 
of Aldermen, with the assent of the Commonality 
of the City aforesaid, by reason of the good 
service by Ralph Strode, Common Counter 
(pleader or common serjeant) unto us done and 
hereafter to be done, have given and granted unto 
the said Ralph all the dwelling houses, together 
with the garden and all other appurtenances, 
situate over the gate of Aldrichesgate, to have 
and to hold the same as long as he, the 
said Ralph, shall remain in the said office 
of Countor, it being understood that the 
Chamberlain for the tune being during the next 
year shall cause at his own expense all and 
singular the defaults in the said house to be 
repaired, etc." In the reign of Elizabeth it 


was occupied by the famous printer, John Day. 
Frequently, as was usual with city gates, 
Aldersgate presented to the view of passers-by a 
ghastly garnishing of the dismembered limbs of 
traitors. Thus Pepys writes, October 20th, 
1660: "This afternoon, going through London 
and calling at Crowe's (Alderman Crowe) the 
upholsterer in Saint Bartholomew's, I saw the 
limbs of some of our new traytors set upon 
Aldersgate, which was a sad sight to see ; and a 
bloody week this and the last have been, there 
being ten hanged, drawn, and quartered." 

The gate gives the name to a City ward which 
was instituted in 1285, which is divided into two 
sections, each with four precincts. The first 
Alderman was William de Maiener ; of the 
subsequent Aldermen, two have been baronets, 
Sir Samuel Garrard, Lord Mayor in 1709, whose 
ancestor, Sir William Garrard, was Lord Mayor 
in 1555, and whose great grandson, Sir John, was 
created baronet in 1621. Sir Samuel was the 
fourth in the baronetcy, and left issue two sons, 
both of whom succeeded, and both of whom died 
unmarried, the younger in 1767, when the 
baronetcy became extinct. The other was Sir John 
William Anderson, Lord Mayor in 1798, created 


baronet the same year, who died without issue in 
1813, when the title expired. Three Aldermen 
also have been knighted, viz., Sir Peter Floyer, 
Sir Thos. Halifax, and Sir Peter Laurie. The 
Liberty of St. Martin's College was com- 
prehended in the ward, but was exempt from 
its jurisdiction. Before the fire of 1666 there 
were six churches in the ward, those of St. John 
Zachary, St. Mary Staining, St. Olave, St. 
Leonard, St. Anne, and St. Botolph ; of these 
the first five were consumed in the fire, and 
St. Anne's only rebuilt. St. Botolph escaped 
with a scorching. The most important 
religious establishment in the ward was 
the Collegiate Church of St. Martin's-le- 
Grand. Tradition says that it was founded in 
the time of the early British Christianity, by 
Wythered, King of Kent, in honour of 
Cadwallon, King of Britain. It was repaired 
and endowed circa 1056 by two brothers 
(Saxons), Ingelricus and Edward or Gerard, 
which was confirmed by William I., after the 
Conquest, by charter, wherein it is declared to be 
a Royal free chapel, with a collegiate establish- 
ment consisting of a dean and a fraternity of 
secular canons, with many privileges and 


immunities, including exemption from outward, 
civil, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the right 
of sanctuary within the limits of the liberty. 

Ingelricus was the first dean, and after him 
several distinguished men held the office, of 
whom William de Wykeham, the famous 
architect, Bishop of Winchester and builder 
of Windsor Castle, rebuilt considerable portions 
of the College ; and James Stanley, brother of 
the Earl of Derby, who was instituted in 1493, 
and is supposed to have been the last. 

The college with all its appurtenances was 
given by Henry VII., in 1502, to the Abbot and 
Convent of Westminster, for the performance 
of certain religious ceremonials ; and on the 
suppression of the abbey, 34 Henry VIII., was 
transferred to the newly-created dean and chapter. 
It was suppressed finally in 1548, 2 Edward VI., 
and the same year, as Stow informs us, "the 
church was pulled down, and in the east part 
thereof a large wine tavern was builded, and 
withall down to the west and throughout the 
whole of the precinct of the college, many other 
houses were builded and highly priced, letten to 
strangers borne and others such as then claymed 
benefitte of privileges grannted to the canons 


serving God day and night (for so be the words of 
the charter of William the Conqueror) which may 
hardly be wrested to artificers, buyers and sellers, 
otherwise than as mentioned in the 21st of 
St. Matthew's Gospel." 

The curfew bell was rung nightly, at eight 
o'clock, from the churchtower. Edward I. issued 
a proclamation that " in consequence of the many 
mischiefs, murders, robberies, and beating down 
persons by certain Hectors walking arm in arm, 
none should be so hardy as to be found wandering 
in the streets after the curfew had sounded at St. 
Martin's-le-Grand. The other churches where 
the curfew bell was rung in the City were 
St. Mary-le-Bow, St. Giles, Cripplegate. and 
AUhallows Barking. At the sound of the bell 
the great gates of Aldersgate were closed, but 
the wickets left open, which were also shut and 
fastened as soon as it ceased ringing, and were 
not opened again until the morning excepting by 
a special order from the Lord Mayor. 

In digging the foundations for the Post Office 
in 1818, a range of Saxon or early Xonnan vaults 
were discovered, which had belonged to the 
college, the remains of a crypt of the time of 
Henry III., and a stone coffin. 


St. Botolph's church, situated on the western 
side of Aldersgate Street, near Little Britain, is 
dedicated to a Cornish monk, who is said to have 
lived in the time of King Lucius, and was buried at 
Boston (Botolph's town), in Lincolnshire. It is 
an ancient rectory, formerly in the gift of the 
dean and canons of St. Martin, and was given 
along with the college to the Abbot and Convent 
of Westminster, and at the dissolution to the 
Bishop of Westminster, who was suppressed by 
Queen Mary, and the convent restored, to whom 
it reverted. Queen Elizabeth restored it to the 
new dean and chapter, who still hold it, subject to 
the approval of the Bishop and Archdeacon of 
London. It escaped the fire of 1666, became 
ruinous, and was patched and repaired at divers 
times until 1790, when it was rebuilt, a portion of 
the old church being retained in the eastern wall. 
It cannot be considered a handsome church 
exteriorly, but the interior is effective, although 
of mixed styles. It has a painted window of 
Christ's agony in the garden, executed in the 
dark age of glass painting. In another window, 
by Jas. Pierson, the figure of St. Peter is very 
fine. Having been spared by the Fire, the 
church contains a great many monuments of the 


old citizens of the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. There is one to Daniel Wray, F.R.S., 
Deputy Teller of the Exchequer, who died in 
1783, set. 83. He was a learned man, and 
collected a large library of old authors, which his 
widow presented to the Charter House. Another, 
a tablet and bust, by Roubiliac, is erected to the 
memory of Elizabeth Smith, who died in 1750, 
aet. 15. There is an inscription commencing 

" Not far remote lies a lamented fair, 
Whom Heaven had fashioned with peculiar care," etc. 

At the north-east corner of Little Britain stood 
an alien Cluniac Priory, or Hospital, founded in 
1377, which was suppressed with other alien 
houses by Henry V., and the endowments given 
to the parishioners of St. Botolph's, who founded 
a brotherhood of the Holy Trinity, in connection 
with the church, to celebrate masses in the 
church. It was suppressed temp. Edward VI., 
and the hall of the priory converted into a vestry 
and school. There were also two brotherhoods 
of St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, and a sisterhood 
of St. Katherine in the church. 

St. Anne's Church is also called the Church of 
St. Anne and St. Agnes, from a tradition that it 
was built by two sisters so named, and in old 


records is styled St. Anne in the Willows, from its 
standing in a grove of those trees. The date of 
its foundation is not known, but a John de 
Chambrey was collated to the living in 1322. 
The rectory was under the patronage of the Dean 
and Canons of St. Martin's, and went with the 
college to Westminster. It was destroyed by 
fire in 1548, restored in 1624, again burnt in 1666, 
rebuilt by Wren in 1680, when the parish of St. 
John Zachary was united to it, and again 
"repaired and beautified" in 1701-3. Within its 
walls was buried William Gregory, Mayor of 
London 1451, in a chantry which he had founded. 
There was a monument to Peter Helwood, who 
was stabbed in Westminster Hall, in 1640, by 
John James, a Dominican friar, for his zealous 
prosecution of the Papists, as a justice of the 
peace. The inscription says : 

" Reader, if not a Papist bred, 
Upon such ashes lightly tread." 

The Rev. James Penn, lecturer at the church, 
was, along with the Rev. S. Aldrich, rector of St. 
John's, Clerkenwell, appointed to investigate the 
mystery of the Cock Lane Ghost. 

There have been several notable Nonconformist 
chapels in and about Aldersgate Street. Early 


in the reign of Charles II., the Society of 
Friends established a meeting in Bull and Mouth 
Street, and George Fox frequently preached 
there. As was common at that time, the 
congregation was subjected to barbarous 
persecution. In 1662 a mob assembled, dragged 
them out into the street, beating and mauling 
them severely, and killing one outright. 

In 1760 the meeting was given up. and the room 
taken by a congregation of Sandemanians from 
Glovers' Hall, who held it many years until they 
removed to Paul's Abbey Barbican. In 1767 
appeared " A Plain and Full Account of the 
Christian Practices Observed by the Church in 
St. Martin's-le-Grand, etc.," which was attributed 
to the Rev. John Bernard, minister of the chapel, 
a learned man, and author of some other works, 
who was eventually expelled from his pulpit for 
" not being sufficiently humble, and for thinking 
too highly of his preaching abilities." He died 
in 1805. 

Trinity Hall, at the corner of Little Britain, 
was occupied by a congregation of Nonjurors, 
and afterwards by a society of Moravians. It 
was here that a memorable event took place, 
which had an important influence in the great 


revival of religion in the last century, and 
resulted, along with other predisposing causes, in 
the outgrowth of the now large and influential 
sect of Wesleyan Methodists. John Wesley, in 
his journal, May 24th, 1738, writes : " In the 
evening I went very unwillingly to a society in 
Aldersgate Street, where one was reading 
Luther's Preface to the Romans. About a 
quarter before nine, while he was describing the 
changes which God makes in the heart through 
faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. 
I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation ; 
and an assurance was given me that He had 
taken away my sins even mine and saved me 
from the law of sin and death." 

Hare Court Independent Chapel was built on 
ground leased for 999 years, from Sir Henry 
Ashurst, in the year of the Revolution, 1688. 
Originally it stood with an open space in front, 
facing Aldersgate Street, with a single entrance 
therefrom. It was built by a society gathered 
together in the reign of Charles II. by the Rev. 
Gleo. Cockayn, who had been ejected from St. 
Pancras, Soper Lane, in 1662, consisting of many 
of the foremost citizens and several officers of the 
army. It was rebuilt in 1772, with three 


galleries, and a new entrance from Paul's Alley. 
In 1857, the chapel was disposed of, and out of 
the proceeds a new one built in Canonbury, to 
which was given the time honoured name of 
Hare Court, and which maintains the popularity 
of its predecessor. 

In 1804 a congregation of Calvinistic Metho- 
dists assembled in a large room of Shaftesbury 
House, under the pastorate of the Rev. T. 
Madden, who removed hither with his flock from 
Bartholomew Close. 

From the time of the Plantagenets to that of 
the Stuarts, Aldersgate Street was the Belgravia 
of London, the place of residence of prelates and 
nobles. Compared with other streets of the City. 
it was spacious and open, lined with magnificent 
buildings, and adorned with clusters and lines of 
ancient trees. Howell, in his Londinopolis, 1657, 
speaks of it as resembling a street in an Italian 
city ; and Malcolm, in his Londinium Redivivum, 
1805, says; "Aldersgate Street is very unequal 
in its buildings, but the majority are of superior 
excellence, and the various shops and warehouses 
of the first respectability. In width it is superior 
to most of the streets within the walls of the 


The only one of the famous old mansions 
recently remaining was Shaftesbury or Thanet 
House. It was built by Inigo Jones for the 
Tuftons, Earls of Thanet, and was purchased by 
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, 
the Achitophel of Dry den. Pennant says : " It 
was hired or purchased by the incendiary states- 
man, Lord Shaftesbury, for the purpose of living 
in the City to inflame the minds of the citizens, 
among whom he used to boast he could raise 
10,000 brisk boys by the holding up of his finger. 
He attempted to get into the magistracy, but 
being disappointed in his views and terrified at 
the apprehension of the detection of a conspiracy 
he had entered into against his prince, he fled, in 
1683, into Holland, where he soon died of the 
gout, heightened by rage and frustrated 

The house was afterwards let for manu- 
facturing purposes ; in 1750 it became a Lying- 
in-Hospital, which was removed to the City 
Road, when it was opened as a Dispensary, with 
a Dissenting Chapel, called Shaftesbury Chapel, 
on the first floor, until the migration of the 
congregation to a new chapel opposite Westmore- 
land Buildings, called Aldersgate Chapel. 


Petre, Dorchester, or London House stood on 
the west side of the street nearly opposite 
Shaftesbury House. It is supposed to have 
been built by Sir William Petre, who became 
rich by monastic plunder at the dissolution of 
monasteries, and died in 1572. It was occupied by 
his descendants until 1639, when it came into 
possession of Henry Pierrepoint, Marquis of 
Dorchester. During the Commonwealth it was 
made use of as a state prison, and after the Great 
Fire of 1666 had destroyed the palace of the 
Bishop of London, in St. Pauls Churchyard, 
became the episcopal residence of the see, many 
alterations being made, and the chapel built by 
various bishops, and was held by them until 
1725. In 1748 it was occupied by Jacob Ilive. 
"the crazy printer and fanatical writer," and 
twenty years after by Seddon, the eminent 
cabinetmaker, ancestors of the Seddons of Gray's 
Inn Road, who had the misfortune to have it 
burnt, with the whole of his uninsured stock, on 
two occasions. Afterwards, also, Miss Seddon 
was burnt to death in the house, by her clothes 
catching fire. 

The two mighty and illustrious northern 
families of Percy and Nevil had both of them 


a town mansion in Aldersgate Street on the 
western side Northumberland House, on the 
site of Bull and Mouth Street ; and Westmore- 
land House, on the site of Westmoreland Court, 
extending to Bartholomew Close. On the death 
of Henry, first Earl of Northumberland, at the 
Battle of Bramham Moor, 1408, and his subse- 
quent attainder, King Henry IV. gave 
Northumberland House to Queen Joan for a 
wardrobe. Afterwards it became a printing 
office, then a tavern, and finally was divided into 
shops and tenements. Lauderdale House stood 
on the east side, a little north of Shaftesbury 
House. It was the residence of the Earl of 
Lauderdale, a member of the " Cabal " ministry 
of Charles II. Upon the site was built Bote 
and Walsh's distillery. Close by Shaftesbury 
House stood Bacon House, the residence of Sir 
Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper to Queen 
Elizabeth, and father of Lord Chancellor Bacon, 
one of the greatest of our philosophers. Ralph 
Montagu, third Baron and first Duke of 
Montagu, " as arrant a knave as any in his time," 
as Swift observed when he was raised to a duke- 
dom, lived in Aldersgate Street until he built 
Montagu House, Bloomsbury (the British 


Museum), when he removed thither. Charles 
Mordaunt, third Earl of Peterborough, one of 
the foremost men of the court of Queen Anne, 
was also a resident. On the west side of the 
street there is a picturesque old house (now a 
newsagent's shop) with an inscription stating that 
" This was Shakespeare's House," which may 
possibly be true, but there does not appear to be 
any documentary evidence in proof thereof. 
Mary, Countess of Pembroke, sister of Sir P. 
Sydney, the subject of Ben Jonson's famous 
epitaph, which was not inscribed on her tomb, 
died at her house in the street in 1621. 

Many other distinguished personages have 
been born, lived, or died in Aldersgate Street, 
amongst whom may be noticed Milton, who in 
1641 was living in a house at the bottom of 
Lamb (now Maidenhead) Court ; Brian Walton, 
Bishop of Chester, the learned editor of the first 
English Polyglot Bible; Thos. Flatman, the 
poet, who was born in the street in 1657 ; the 
brothers Rawlinson, who resided in London 
House Thomas, the " Tom Folio " of the Taller, 
Xo. 158, and Richard, LL.D., F.R.S., and 
F.S.A., both antiquaries and great collectors of 
books. The Right Hon. Thos. Harley, a 


memorable member of the Corporation, and M.P. 
for the City, also resided here. 

The Company of Cooks had their hall on the 
western side of Aldersgate Street, adjoining 
Little Britain. The company was incorporated 
by Letters Patent in 1480, by Edward IV., 
under the style and title of "The Masters and 
Governors and Commonalty of the Mystery of 
Cooks in London," and their charter was 
confirmed by Elizabeth and James I. with "a 
master, four wardens, and 25 assistants." The 
hall escaped the fire of 1666, but was destroyed 
by fire in 1771, and was not rebuilt. 

There have been and still are many taverns 
and hostelries of considerable note in Aldersgate 
Street and St. Marti n's-le- Grand. The most 
interesting is the " Mourning Bush/' a very 
ancient tavern with a carved ivy bush for its 
sign a timber-gabled house with portions of the 
old wall of London for its foundations. It stood 
on the east side of the street, and had a back 
entrance in St. Anne's Lane. The landlord, 
during the time of the Civil War, was a devoted 
royalist, and on the execution of King Charles 
had the courage to paint his ivy bush black, and 
call it the " Mourning Bush." In 1749, the sign 


was changed to " The Fountain," and is referred 
to by Tom Brown as one of the "four or five 
topping taverns of the City," whose owners might 
look for an alderman's gown. In 1830, it was 
repaired and refitted, and instead of restoring the 
old historically interesting name, it has since been 
christened "The Lord Raglan." " The Bull and 
Mouth" (a corruption of Boulogne Mouth, or 
Harbour) a very ancient hostelry, originally 
standing in Bull and Mouth and Angel streets, 
with a galleried and gabled court-yard, now 
taken down. It was rebuilt in 1830, and to 
meet the more fastidious taste of the time its 
somewhat vulgar name was changed to the more 
euphonious " Queen's Hotel." On a stone tablet 
was the following inscription : 

" Milo the Cretonian 
An ox slew with his fist, 
And ate it up at one meal, 
Ye gods, what a glorious twist ! a 

The new branch of the Post Office is being built 
on the site. Two doors from Barbican stood the 
"Bell," an inn worthy of being remembered as 
having been the resort of John Taylor, the 
Water Poet. The Albion is celebrated for its 
public dinners, and for the trade sales of London 


publishers. The Castle and Falcon is also a 
famous and very old inn, standing close by, and 
probably on a portion of the site of the gate. 

Aldersgate Street has been the scene of some 
incendiary fires for the sake of plunder. Pepys, 
in his Diary, July, 1687, refers to a case in which 
two boys, one " a son of Lady Montagu's, I know 
not what Lady Montagu got into the company of 
some rogues, who persuaded them to rob their 
fathers' houses of plate and other valuables, of 
which they appropriated the greater portion, and 
afterwards to set fire to a house in the street, 
that they might abscond with the goods that were 
thrown into the streets." Again in May, 1790, 
some scoundrels fired a house at the corner of 
Long Lane, which eventuated in the destruction 
of all the houses to Catherine ( ? Carthusian 
Street), involving the loss of property amounting 
to 40,000, that they might plunder them in the 
confusion. One John Flindall was apprehended, 
tried, and sentenced to transportation for robbery 
during the fire, when he offered to turn king's 
evidence, was accepted, and he revealed the 
diabolical plot, implicating especially two accom- 
plices, Lowe and Jobbins, the ringleaders, who 
were hanged in front of the ruins. The Corpora- 


tion took advantage of the clearance to widen 
Aldersgate in this part of the street, which had 
previously been very narrow, at a cost of 4,035. 
The 7th of May, in the year 1603, was a day 
long remembered by the worthy citizens of 
Aldersgate Street, as that on which King James 
VI. of Scotland, entered the City through their 
gate to assume the title of James the First of 
England. The street was adorned with 
triumphal arches ; arras and costly hangings 
decorated the fronts of the houses, and number- 
less banners and pennons floated in the breeze 
from the windows and points of the gables ; the 
windows were filled with the beauty of the City 
matrons and maidens : while the 'prentices and 
other venturous spirits perched themselves on the 
roofs, and the roadway below was densely 
crowded by citizens, who ever and anon made the 
welkin ring by their shouts of welcome. Sheriff 
Swinnerton, with ten followers in rich liveries, 
met the King at Waltham, and congratulated 
him on his safe arrival. At Stamford Hill he 
was met by the Lord Mayor Lee and the 
aldermen, all in scarlet robes, and 500 of the most 
eminent of the citizens, on horseback, all 
sumptuously apparelled in velvet, with gold 


chains round their necks. The procession passed 
slowly along, pausing at intervals to look upon 
some ingeniously-contrived pageant, and listen to 
the congratulations of the characters represented, 
and along Aldersgate Street to the Charter 
House, where the king was magnificently 
entertained by Lord Howard four days. In the 
evening the street was brilliantly illuminated by 
means of bonfires, cresset-bearers marching up 
and down, and lights from the windows. 

In the last and the preceding centuries Little 
Britain was the great centre of the publishing 
and book-selling trades, and in Aldersgate Street, 
of which it is a tributary, there have lived several 
eminent members thereof. John Day, the 
famous printer, temp. Edward VI. and Elizabeth, 
occupied rooms over the gate. He printed a 
folio edition of the Bible, 1549, dedicated to 
King Edward VI. ; published also the works of 
Ascham, Tindal, etc., and it was at his suggestion 
that Foxe wrote his Book of Martyrs, respecting 
which it was said 

" He set a fox to write how martyrs runne, 
By death to lyfe." 

Jacob Hive, an eccentric printer, set up 
his press in London House, where he printed 


several of his own fantastic writings, such as 
" The speech of Mr. J. L, to his brothers, the 
Master Printers, on the Utility of Printing, 
1730; etc., etc. Robert Chiswell, who died in 
1711, of whom Dunton, in his Life and Errors, 
says, " The most eminent in his profession in the 
three kingdoms, I take to be Mr. Robert 
Chiswell, who well deserves the title of 
Metropolitan Bookseller of England, if not of all 
the world." John Hereford, whose last publica- 
tion was the Newe Testament, 1548 ; Nicholas 
Bonnan ; Anthony Scholcker, vix 1548, after- 
wards of Ipswich ; William Tilly, who published 
the new Testament in 4to. in 1549 ; Henry 
Denham, at the sign of the Bear and Ragged 
Staff, Thomas Easte, at the sign of the Black 
Horse, and Thos. Wnitchurch, at the sign of the 
Well and Two Buckets, St. Martin's-le-GranA 

Broafc Street 

THE ward to which this street gives its name 
is unquestionably the richest in the City 
of London, containing within its limits, extending 
from Cornhill Ward on the south to Bishopsgate 
Ward on the north, and from Bishopsgate Ward 
on the east to Coleman Street Ward on the west, 
some of the most wealthy and important com- 
mercial establishments of the metropolis. Within 
its boundaries are the Bank of England, and a 
multitude of other high-class banks, the Royal 
Exchange, the Stock Exchange, several Insurance 
offices, Consulates, the South Sea House, the 
Inland Revenue Office, Drapers' Hall, Merchant 
Taylors' Hall, Carpenters' Hall, and an infinite 
number of merchants' offices, where mercantile 
transactions of incalculable magnitude take place 
daily. It comprehends within its area several of 
the most important commercial and financial 
streets of the City Threadneedle Street, 
Lothbury, Throgmorton Street, Great Win- 
chester Street, Princes Street, Moorgate Street, 


Austin Friars, with other smaller streets, courts, 
and alleys, all full of life, bustle, and active 
commercial life. It comprehends six parishes 
those of Allhallows-on-the-Wall, St. Martin 
Outwich, St. Bene't Fink, St Bartholemew-by- 
the-Exchange, St. Peter-le-Poor, and St. 
Christopher, Threadneedle Street. Besides 
these are the Dutch Church, of the Austin 
Friars, and the Walloon or French Protestant 
Church in Threadneedle Street. 

Old Broad Street is a wide spacious thorough- 
fare extending from the end of Throgrnorton 
Street to London Wall and Wormwood Street, 
whence it is continued northward to Liverpool 
Street by Xew Broad Street ; at the south end, 
by Throgmorton Street, it diverges at a slight 
angle to the end of Threadneedle Street, this 
portion having formerly been called Little Broad 

In the time of Charles I. it was one of the 
most fashionable streets in London, the place of 
residence of several aristocratic families, including, 
amongst others, those of the Earls of Shrewsbury, 
the Careys, Barons Hunsdon, and Earls of 
Dover, and the Westons, Barons Weston, and 
Earls of Portland, extinct 1688. The most 


important house, however, was Winchester 
House, which, with its gardens, occupied the site 
of Great and Little Winchester streets. The 
mansion was built by Sir William Paulet, first 
Marquis of Winchester, one of the foremost men 
of his age, and a remarkable man in many 
respects. He was born in the year 1475, and 
lived to the age of 97, holding various offices of 
state during two-thirds of that period, and at his 
death left upwards of a hundred descendants. In 
1539 he was created, by patent, Baron St. John 
of Basing, to which title, by writ of summons, 
1299, he was eldest co-heir. In 1549 he was 
created Earl of Wiltshire, and in 1551 Marquis 
of Winchester. He was Comptroller of the 
Household to Henry VIII., an executor of his 
will, and guardian of the young king, Edward 
VI., and afterwards became Lord Treasurer, and 
was made Knight of the Garter. He died in 
1572, having witnessed all the changes of 
religion, and the turmoils and troubles attendant 
thereupon. On being asked how he managed to 
maintain his position, and an unbroken flow of 
prosperity, amid all the religious and political 
fluctuations of his time, he replied that " he was 
made of the pliable willow, not of the stubborn 


oak." He was twice married, first to Elizabeth, 
daughter of Sir William Capel, Lord Mayor of 
London, who was mother of his heir, the second 
marquis. At the dissolution of the Augustine 
Friary, the house and grounds were granted by 
Henry VIII. to Lord St. John, who pulled down 
a portion of the friary, built a mansion which he 
made his town residence, and laid out the 
grounds afresh which extended to the City wall, 
with a footway across, leading to Moorgate. 
This footpath had gates at each end. which were 
kept locked during the night, and no one allowed 
to pass along it. The Marquis was also the 
builder of Basing House, Wiltshire, memorable 
for the siege it sustained in the subsequent civil 

In modern times Sir Astley Cooper, the 
celebrated surgeon, resided in Broad Street, in a 
house at the corner of the paved court leading to 
St. Botolph's Church, Bishopsgate Street, where 
he held a morning levee of City patients. His 
fees, the first year he commenced, amounted to 
five guineas, and it was not until the 5th that 
they reached 100 and the 9th, 1,000. After 
that they rose rapidly to 1,500, and one year he 
received the sum of 21,000. Afterwards he 


removed to the West-End, but he found a 
sensible diminution of his receipts from those 
derived from the City millionaires. The abbot of 
St. Alban's also had his town house opposite St. 
Augustine's Gate. Even in the time of the 
Romans, this part of the City would appear to 
have been inhabited by the aristocratical section 
of the community, as in 1854 a magnificent 
tesselated floor, 28-feet square, was discovered, 
such as must have belonged to a large and 
high-class house. Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of 
Hereford and Essex, in 1243, founded on a plot 
of land extending westward from Broad Street, 
a priory for begging Friars of the order of St. 
Augustine, which flourished until the dissolution, 
when the house and grounds were granted to 
Lord St. John and the church, appropriated by 
King Edward VI., in 1551, to "John Alasco, 
and a congregation of Germans and other 
strangers fled hither for the sake of religion," the 
church to be called "the temple of the Lord 
Jesus," and in the hands of the Germans, or 
rather Dutch it still remains. 

There is but one church in the street St. 
Peter's, originally St. Peter the Apostle, but now 
St. Peter-the-Poor, a mean edifice, with an 


ungainly tower, and might well be designated 
"the poor" from its poverty of architectural 
merit. Maitland says that it "received the 
appellation from the mean condition (as is 
supposed) of the parish in ancient times. If so 
that epithet may at present be justly changed to 
that of rich, because of the great number of 
merchants and other persons of distinction 
inhabiting there." The probability seems to be 
that it derived that name from its proximity to 
the house of Begging Friars, who made a merit of 
their poverty, and this came to be called St. 
Peter by the Poor Friars, to distinguish it 
from St. Peter's, Cornhill, and others of the 
name. We have no knowledge of when or by 
whom it was built, but it is a very ancient 
foundation, as there is documentary evidence 
showing it to have been in existence in 1181. 
Among the rectors of St. Peter's have been some 
notable men. Richard Holdsworth. D.D., 
educated at St. John's, Cambridge, where he won 
a name for proficiency in arts and theology, 
became master of Emanuel College, and vice- 
chancellor of the university, who was preferred to 
the rectory in 1636. He was a zealous loyalist, 
and ejected from his living in 1642, his house 


plundered, and he imprisoned in the Tower. In 
1645, he was nominated to the deanery of 
Worcester and elected Bishop of Bristol, but 
declined the dignity. He was permitted to attend 
King Charles at Hampton Court and Carisbrook 
Castle, but he suffered much by depriva- 
tion, sequestration, and several imprisonments. 
He died in 1649, and was buried in the church of 
St. Peter. Benjamin Hoadley, D.D., afterwards 
successively Bishop of Bangor, Hereford, 
Salisbury, and Winchester, who held the living 
from 1704 to 1720. He was eminent as a contro- 
versialist, and held views which would now be 
termed Rationalistic, approaching closely to Uni- 
tarianism, which were developed especially in his 
Plain Account of the Sacrament, and his Discourses 
on the Terms of Acceptance. When Bishop of 
Bangor, he published a sermon on "The True 
Nature of the Kingdom that Christ came upon 
Earth to Establish," from the text, " My kingdom 
is not of this world," which gave rise to the 
celebrated and long-protracted " Bangorian Con- 
troversy." He published a multitude of works, 
chiefly of a controversial character, and died in 

John Scott, D.D., 1677-91, afterwards rector 


of St. Giles-in-the- Fields, and canon of Windsor, 
a learned divine, author of Cases of Conscience, 
1683 ; Texts Cited by the Papists Examined, 
1688 ; The Christian Life, 1683 ; ninth edition, 
1702 ; and other works, which passed through 
successive editions, and some translated into foreign 
languages. His entire works were published in 
two vols., fol., in 1718, and in six vols., 8vo., in 

In the fifteenth century Venice held the secret 
and the monopoly of glass making. The works 
were situated on the island of Murano, and many 
attempts were made by other nations to learn the 
secret, but the Venetians asserted and spread 
abroad the report that it was impossible to make 
glass elsewhere equal to that of Murano, even 
with the same materials, the same workmen, and 
the same method of working, as there was 
something in the air of the island which imparted 
a lucidity and lustre, rendering the glass of the 
island superior to anything that could be produced 
in any other part of the world. 

About the middle of the sixteenth century the 
manufacture was introduced into England, and 
works established in the Savoy and Crutched 
Friars. Early in the following century a 


company of noblemen and courtiers, with Sir 
Robert Mansell at their head, formed an 
association for the manufacture of glass, and 
built works for that purpose in Broad Street, 
near Austin Friars. At that time it was not 
deemed derogatory to the dignity of a nobleman 
to engage in the glass trade. In Venice the 
manufacture was held in such high esteem that 
those engaged in the profession ranked as 
gentlemen, and in France a decree was issued 
that glass-working should not lessen the dignity 
of a noble. 

In 1615 the company employed as their 
manager or steward James Howell, afterwards 
Historiographer Royal to Charles II., whom 
they sent abroad to obtain information for the 
improvement of their processes, and to employ 
skilful workmen. He obtained from the Lords 
of Council a warrant to travel for three years, on 
condition that he did not visit Rome or St. Omer, 
and he started off in 1619, returning in 1621. 

He tempted the best workmen, by a promise 
of a high rate of wages, especially Signer 
Antonio Miotti, from Lealand, who had been a 
master manufacturer, and was reckoned the 
ablest workman in Christendom, and from 


Venice " two of the best gentlemen workmen 
that ever blew crystal." 

Howell was a remarkable man, and led a 
somewhat varied life of vicissitude. After his 
continental tour he threw up his situation, not 
being able to bear the heat of the glass works, 
was elected a fellow of his college, and in 1626 
became secretary to the council of the Xorth, at 
York, and the next year was elected to represent 
Richmond, Yorkshire, in Parliament. In 1632 
he went to Denmark as secretary to a special 
embassy, and on his return went to Ireland to 
seek employment under Wentworth, but failed in 
consequence of the recall and execution of that 
nobleman. In 1640 he obtained a clerkship in 
the council at Whitehall, but lost it on the 
breaking out of the Civil War, and in 1643 was 
committed to the Fleet for his loyal predilections, 
where he remained until the death of the king. 
On his release he found himself not only penniless, 
but in debt. He contrived, however, to maintain 
himself during the Protectorate by writing for 
the press, and at the restoration was appointed 
Historiographer Royal, which office he held until 
his death in 1666. 

When Monk came to London to effect the 


restoration of monarchy, he halted with his army 
in Finsbury Fields, had a conference with the 
Lord Mayor and aldermen, who coincided with 
him in his views, which were professedly the 
maintenance of a free Parliament. He quartered 
his men in the Broad Street Glass House, and 
passed himself into the City, amid the acclama- 
tions of the people, to the Bull's Head, Cheapside, 
where he took up his quarters. The glass works, 
despite the monopoly, was not a success, the 
manufacture was discontinued, and the house, or 
a portion of it, taken by the Pinmakers' 

The Pinmakers, or Pinners as they were 
usually called, were neither a numerous or a rich 
company. Indeed, Stow says that they met in 
Plasterers' Hall originally, and in his time the 
house had gone to decay, as " they were not 
worth a pin." The company was formed in the 
reign of James I., and was incorporated 2nd 
Charles I. (1636). The arms presented a 
a crowned half figure of Queen Elizabeth, with 
the motto, "Virginitas et unitas nostra 
fraternitas." Towards the end of the 17th 
century they held their quarterly courts of 
assistants in Cutler's Hall, Cloak Lane, Dowgate. 


In the Guildhall Library is preserved the 
minute-book of the quarterly meetings from 1698 
to 1723, some portions of which are engrossed. 
It commences with a list of members in 1698 ; 
then gives the minutes of the meetings in 
succession. The chief business appears to have 
been fining the members of the court Is. for 
being late, binding and unloosing apprentices, and 
voting donations to the widows of members. The 
company has now entirely disappeared. 

St. Augustine's passed through some strange 
mutations before it finally disappeared. Origin- 
ally the home of a fraternity of begging friars, it 
became the stables and outhouses of the mansion 
of a nobleman. Then it was converted into a 
glass factory ; a soldiers' barracks for a short 
time ; after which it was appropriated by a City 
compaii3 T , and finally became a great centre of 
Protestant Dissent, from whose pulpit were 
enunciated principles of theology at which, in the 
olden time, friars would have stood aghast. In 
the reign of Charles II., Anthony Palmer, who 
had been ejected from Bourton-on- the- Water, 
and who suffered much under the Act of 
Uniformity, an able and learned man, author of 
Tlie Tempestuous Soul calmed by Jesus Christ, 


and other esteemed works, collected a con- 
gregation here, took a lease of the building, and 
fitted it up with two tiers of galleries, and died 
in 1678. He was followed by a long succession 
of ministers who preached Calvinistic doctrines, 
amongst the more notable of whom were George 
Townes, M.A., who had been apprehended in the 
pulpit at Bristol on a charge of having being 
implicated in the " Presbyterian Plot," was 
removed by habeas corpus to King's Bench 
Prison, and eventually acquitted. He suffered 
much persecution, and died of the stone, 
aggravated by his imprisonment, in 1685. 
Richard Wavel, famous for his pulpit oratory, 
who died in 1707. Joseph Hunt, D.D., a learned 
divine, who occupied the pulpit 37 years. He 
is highly panegyrised by Dr. Lardner for his 
erudition, strength of mind, and wonderful 
memory. Joseph Foster, D.D., born 1697, pastor 
of Pinners' Hall Church 1774-1753, author of The 
Usefulness, Truth, and Excellency of the 
Christian Revelation, written in reply to 
Christianity as Old as Creation. He was buried 
in Bunhill Fields. Caleb Fleming, D.D., born 
at Nottingham, 1698 ; pastor, 1753-1778, having 
been previously minister of a congregation in 


Bartholomew Close. Author of a multitude of 
pamphlets some published anonymously quaint 
and obscure in style. He held opinions verging 
on Socinianism, and "set down as fools all who 
held different opinions," including Watts, 
Bradbury, Pike, Wesley, Whitefield, and 
Sherlock. This congregation only occupied the 
chapel in the mornings, and at the expiration of 
the lease, in 1778, the church was dispersed. In 
the afternoons an Independent Church, com- 
menced by Thomas Cole, who died in 1697, 
rented the chapel. He was followed by Dr. John 
Singleton, who in 1704 removed with the church 
to Lorimer's Hah 1 . 

In that year (1704) Dr. Isaac Watts preached 
here in the afternoons until 1708, when he 
removed to the new meeting house in Duke's 

Then followed, in 1708, a congregation under 
the oversight of James Maisters, who came 
hither from Joiners' Hall, who, with his suc- 
cessor Thomas Richardson, removed in 1723 
to Devonshire Square. About 1741 Mr. 
Weatherley's congregation of General Baptists 
came here from Artillery Place, Spitalfields, 
and continued until the expiration of the lease, 


when they removed to Berry Street. A sect of 
Seventh Day Baptists also occupied the chapel 
on Saturdays, under the pastorate of Thomas 
Bampfield, " who died a martyr in Newgate in 
1684." The church afterwards removed to 
Curriers' Hall. 

In 1779 a lease was taken of the chapel by 
Anthony Cole, a seceder from the Countess of 
Huntingdon's connection, who gathered together 
a numerous congregation, .who assembled 
here until the expiration of the lease in 1799, 
when they removed to Founders' Hall. 

Shortly after this the building was taken down, 
and all traces of it are now obliterated. 

But that which rendered Pinners' Hall so 
conspicuous and celebrated in the annals of 
Nonconformity was the establishment of the 
Merchants' Lecture within its walls. In 1672, 
the Dutch war commenced, and Charles II. and 
his advisers, thinking it desirable that there should 
be peace at home in the religious world whilst 
there was war abroad, issued the memorable 
Declaration of Indulgence, in the preamble to 
which it was stated, " that there was very little 
fruit of all those forcible methods which had been 
used for seducing erring and dissenting persons, 


etc. His Majesty therefore, by virtue of his 
supreme power in matters ecclesiastical, took 
upon him to suspend all penal laws about 
them, declaring that he would grant a convenient 
number of public meeting places to men of all 
sects that did not conform, provided they took 
out licences, etc." This was welcomed by the 
Dissenters generally as a gracious act of toleration, 
but there were those amongst them who looked 
upon it as a stepping-stone to the re-introduction 
of Popery. Taking advantage of the indulgence, 
the Presbyterians and Independents who agreed 
in the fundamental principles of the Reformation, 
and in a desire to tear away from the Anglican 
Church the shreds of Popery which still adhered 
to it, met together, under the patronage of the 
merchants of London, and agreed to establish in 
Pinners' Hall a weekly lecture, to be preached on 
Tuesday mornings. 

At first four Presbyterian and two Independent 
ministers, the most eminent of their day, w^ere 
appointed to preach in turn. They were Drs. 
Bates, Manton, and Owen, and Messrs. Baxter, 
Collins, and Jenkyn, and for a time the lectures 
were continued with success and acceptance, and 
with tolerable unanimity, despite some little 


bickering on the questions of Predestination and 
Reprobation, occasioned by a sermon preached by 
Baxter, who defended his sermon in a tract 
entitled An Appeal to the Light, when Dr. 
Manton came forward and partially suppressed 
the clamour, but Baxter seceded. 

A succession of distinguished ministers continued 
the lecture until 1694, when the Calvinistic 
question again cropped up, arising out of the 
reprinting of the works of Dr. Tobias Crisp, 
which were published under the editorship of his 
son in 1690, and written against by Mr. Williams, 
one of the lecturers. Discord sprung up, and an 
attempt was made to exclude him from the lecture- 
ship, upon which four of the lecturers, Dr. Bates, 
and Messrs. Williams, Howe, and Alsop, sent in 
their resignations, and set up an opposition 
lecture at Salters' Hall, at the same day and 

At the expiration of the lease the lecture was 
removed to Little St. Helen's, and afterwards to 
the chapel in New Broad Street, about 1780, but 
was very thinly attended. 

The Independent Chapel in New Broad Street, 
to which the Merchants' lecture migrated, was 
built in 1728, for Dr. Guyse and a congregation 


who separated with him from Miles Lane. Dr. 
Guyse was a learned man and Merchant lecturer 
at Pinners' Hall, and was author of A Paraphrase 
on the New Testament, 1739, a voluminous and 
valuable work, as well as of some other works. 

He was followed by John Stafford, D.D., who 
died in 1800, and was buried in Bunhill-fields ; 
author of The Scripture Doctrine of Sin and 
Grace, Twenty-jive Sermons on the Seventh 
Chapter Romans, etc. 

A writer in Knight's London says : " If a 
stranger from any part of England, Scotland, or 
Ireland, however remote, were to pause in the 
midst of Broad Street, and enquire to what 
purpose that large pile of buildings opposite to 
him were appropriated, he would, ten to one, on 
learning that it w r as the Excise Office, have a 
livelier idea of the operations of the Board of 
Revenue, which has its seat there, than the 
inhabitant of London, provided that neither had 
been brought into direct contact with its officers 
by the nature of his business." In 1626, King 
Charles I. attempted to introduce the excise, but 
a unanimous vote of the Houses of Parliament 
compelled him to renounce the scheme. Never- 
theless, in 1643, Parliament itself levied an excise, 


for the maintenance of the forces raised by them ; 
the first articles on which the duty was laid were 
ale, beer, cider, and perry. The Commissioners 
of Excise sat in Haberdashers' Hall. An account 
of its establishment was given by Prynne, in a 
tract published in 1654, entitled, "A Declaration 
and Protestation against the Illegal and De- 
testable and oft-contemned New Tax and 
Extortion of Excise in General, and for Hops, a 
native and uncertain commodity in particular." 
An excise office was built in Smithfield, which 
was burnt down by the populace, and many riots 
took place in London in opposition to the tax, 
especially when salt and meat and other of the 
common necessaries of life were subjected to it ; 
and a multitude of pamphlets, some of a very 
scurrilous character, appeared in opposition to it. 
The Excise office was afterwards removed to the 
mansion of Sir J. Frederick, in Ironmonger Lane, 
and remained there until 1768, when the trustees 
of the Gresham estates let the ground on which 
Gresham College and Almshouses stood, extend- 
ing from Bishopsgate Street to Broad Street, 
to Government for 500 per annum, the City and 
Mercers' Company further agreeing to pay out of 
the Gresham funds the sum of <1,800 towards 


the demolition of the college and the building of 
the Excise Office. The architect was the elder 
Dance, who erected a plain but spacious and 
commanding looking brick building, which served 
the purpose of the commissioners until 1848. 
when the office was removed to Somerset House. 

That portion of the grounds of the Greshani 
estate which faced Broad Street, was occupied by 
the almshouses founded by Sir Thomas Gresham 
in 1575, and bequeathed by him in trust to the 
Lord Mayor and Commonalty of the City of 
London. They consisted of eight tenements for 
eight poor men, with an annual allowance of 6 
13s. 4d. and a load of coals, and a new gown 
every two years. On their demolition to make 
room for the Excise Office, they were removed to 
the City green-yard, in Whitecross Street. 

Another Government office which stood in 
Broad Street was the Pay Office for the Navy. 
It was situated in a portion of Winchester House 
at the north-west corner of Great Winchester 
Street, has since been removed, and is now 
located in Somerset House. 

The South Sea House formerly extended from 
Threadneedle Street to Broad Street, with a 

frontage in both streets ; now it is confined to the 



former street in a more modern building. The 
company was incorporated in 1710 by Queen 
Anne, for the purpose of paying off a sum of ten 
millions due to the seamen who had been engaged 
in the French wars. In 1720 they obtained an 
Act of Parliament giving them a monopoly of 
trading to the South Seas. By a series of 
iniquitous frauds and deceptions they raised the 
shares to a fictitious value of 1,000 per cent., and 
caused the nation to fall into a sort of financial 
madness in their eagerness to get shares, which 
resulted in the " South Sea Bubble." The panic 
on its bursting caused the ruin of innumerable 
families, whilst a few clever rogues realised large 
fortunes. The company has long ceased to be a 
trading body, and the remnant of the stock, 
converted into annuity stock, is managed by 
Government, under the provisions of an Act of 
Parliament passed in 1753. 

The district northward of Old Broad Street 
was formerly called Petty France, on which New 
Broad Street has been built. Seymoor in his 
edition of Stow writes : " Petty France ; the 
greatest part of this is new built, and called New 
Broad Street. It is a most regular building ; the 
houses are after the manner of those by Hanover 


Square and Burlington Gardens, and are the 
most elegant buildings in the City." 

In Xew Broad Street, besides the Independent 
Chapel, mentioned supra, a Presbyterian chapel 
was erected in 1729, for a congregation which 
removed hither from Hand Alley, Bishopsgate, 
where a Church had been formed early in the 
reign of Charles II. by Thomas Vincent, who 
rendered himself famous by his labours amongst 
the sick during the Plague. Dr. John Evans, a 
pious and eminent man, was minister of the 
Church at the time of the removal, and was 
author of a great number of published sermons, 
and other works, including " Two sermons 
preached at the opening of a new meeting place, 
in New Broad Street, Petty France, December 
14th and 21st, 1730." John Allen, M.D., was a 
subsequent minister of the chapel, author of 
several sermons which were printed ; and another 
was John Palmer, a controversial writer, and 
opponent of Dr. Priestley. At the expiration of 
the lease in 1780 the chapel was taken down and 
the church dispersed. 

An illustration of the primitive mode of 
stopping the ravages of fire occurred in 1314, 
when permission was asked by the officials of 


Broad Street ward to cut down an elm tree 
standing by London Wall and sell it, to enable 
them to purchase a new cord for their 
"wardhoke," a hook which was kept in each 
ward of the City for the purpose of pulling 
down houses to prevent the spreading of fires. 

In 1500 an inquisition was held to ascertain 
the liability of the ward to maintain two bridges 
over the Wall Brook running from " Vynesbury," 
now broken, and to replace the hinges of 
Bishopsgate, when it was found that the Prior of 
Holy Trinity was bound by his charter to keep 
one of the bridges in repair, and the Prior of the 
New Hospital without Bishopsgate and Broad 
Street ward the other jointly, and that it 
devolved on the Bishop of London to maintain the 
hinges of the gate, as he claimed a stick from every 
load of wood that passed through the gateway. 

Broad Street of late years has become a 
thoroughfare of immense traffic, especially in the 
mornings and evenings, of cabs and pedestrians 
going from and to the half-dozen railways which 
have erected stations and termini in Liverpool 
Street, so much so as to render it at certain times 
of the day one of the most thronged streets of 
the City. 

(Tbauccr anfc tbe ftabarfc. 

r T " HE Tabard has passed away ! Another of 
-L the relics of old London a link between 
the picturesque past and the prosaic present rich 
as it was in remembrances associated with the 
birthtime of English poetry, is now a thing of the 
past. We have but few of these relics of Bygone 
London remaining ; it is true the Tower, St. 
John's Gate, and the house of Sir John Crosby still 
linger with us ; but who knows how soon the site 
of the Tower will be wanted for a railway 
station, the gateway of the old knights be found 
to be an obstruction in the way of Pickford's vans, 
and the old Bishopsgate Street house swept 
away by the broom of " improvement ? " 

If there be one spot within the bounds of 
London that may be especially termed classic 
which may be looked upon as sacred to poetry 
that spot is Southwark, despite its hop 
warehouses, in the midst of which stood the 
Tabard. The legend of the ferryman's daughter 
and the foundation of the monastery and church 


of St. Mary Overies is redolent of romance. In 
Clink Street, Shakespeare lived and wrote, and in 
the theatre on Bankside he gave utterance to his 
inspired imaginings ; in St. Saviour's Church 
sleeps Gower, the contemporary of Chaucer ; and 
in one grave repose Fletcher and Massinger ; 
whilst on Bankside, in twin fraternity, dwelt 
Beaumont and Fletcher. 

More than to others should this spot and the 
Tabard be dear to the citizens of London, for he 
to whose shrine pilgrims of the hostelry were 
wending their way was the son of a London 
merchant ; and he who describes, and has 
rendered immortal, that riding to Canterbury, in 
April of the year of grace, 1383, was born within 
the walls of the City. 

The Tabard owed its origin to the Abbey of 
New r ere Mynstre, Winchester, which was 
founded by King Alfred, and afterwards removed 
outside the walls, when it assumed the name of 
Hyde Abbey, temp. Henry I. Alwyn, the 
eighth abbot, was uncle to King Harold, and 
fought, with twelve of his monks, under his 
standard at Hastings. In process of time the 
Abbey waxed rich, and in 1307 the Abbot 
purchased a plot of land near the palace of the 


Bishop of Winchester, and thereon, as Stow 
informs us, " built a faire house for him and his 
train when he came to the City to Parliament." 
At this spot was a convergence of roads from the 
southern and western counties, from whence 
started eastward " The Pilgrim's Road " to 
Canterbury, in consequence of which the Abbot 
built, in close contiguity, a hostelry for the 
reception of pilgrims, where they might repose 
until a sufficient number was gathered together 
to proceed in company for protection from the 
dangers of the road. It was built in the 
picturesque style of the period, with gables to 
the street, cross timberings and latticed windows ; 
in the interior was a large courtyard, with 
balustraded galleries running round it, leading to 
dormitories ; and there was a " Pilgrims' Hall," a 
large room some 45 feet in length, with open 
fireplaces and long tables, at which the pilgrims 
dined and supped during their sojourn. At the 
dissolution, 1538, it was sold, along with the 
Abbot's House, and is described as " The Tabard 
of the Monastery of Hyde, and the Abbot's place, 
with the stables and gardens belonging there- 
unto." Still, however, it retained its character 
of an inn, and in the reign of Elizabeth was 


repaired and partially rebuilt by "Master J. 
Preston." A view of it, as it then appeared, is 
given in Urry's edition of Chaucer, 1721, 
representing it in the old timbered and gabled 
style, with a beam stretching across the road, 
from which the swinging and creaking sign was 
pendant, and on which was an inscription, 
" This is the Inn where Sir Jeffry Chaucer and 
the nine-and-twenty pilgrims lay on their journey 
to Canterbury, anno 1383." In 1673, in 
pursuance of an Act of Parliament, this cross 
beam, with its supporting posts, was taken down, 
but the inscription, after the rebuilding, was 
painted over the gateway, where it remained 
until 1813, when it was erased. 

The street front of the inn was consumed in 
the great fire of Southwark, 1676, along with 
600 other houses, but was immediately rebuilt, 
presumably in facsimile of the original, with its 
courtyard, galleries, pilgrims' hall, and quaint old 
sleeping-rooms, and it is possible that some parts 
which escaped the fire may have been a portion 
of the Tabard, where Chaucer sat as "a 
chiel takin' notes," and where the pretty prioress, 
the wife of Bath, the knight and the squire, and 
the Sumpnour and the Pardoner chatted and 


laughed and flirted ; certainly the courtyard was 
the identical spot where the merry party mounted 
their nags and palfreys, to ride forth along the 
"Pilgrims' Road" to St. Thomas's shrine. The 
pilgrims' room was divided into three apartments ; 
on its walls was formerly a fragment of tapestry, 
representing a procession of pilgrims, which 
afterwards disappeared. After the fire, says 
Aubrey, " the ignorant landlord or tenant, instead 
of the ancient sign, put up the Talbot or Dog." 
Truly he must have been ignorant or destitute of 
veneration for antiquity or poetical feeling, to 
commit such an act of vandalism, and his 
successors cannot have been much better not to 
have restored the old time-honoured designation. 
For all time will the name of Harry Bailly, 
the jovial landlord of the Tabard towards the end 
of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth 
centuries, be remembered. He was a notable 
burgess of Southwark, and evidently a popular 
character; he is supposed to be identical with 
Henry Tite Morton, who, in 1380, was assessed, 
with his wife Christiana, at 2s. to a subsidy, 
rented the customs of the borough in fee farm at 
10 per annum ; was bailiff to Southwark, whence 
his appellation, Henry le Bailly; represented 


the borough in the Parliament of Westminster, 
50 Edward III., and in that of Gloucester 
2 Richard II. A jolly fellow he seems to have 
been, well adapted for his profession : 

" A seemly man our hoste was withall 
For to have been a Marshal in a Hall ; 
A large man he was, with eyen steep, 
A fairer burgess is there none in Chepe : 
Bold of his speech and wise and well ytaught, 
And of manhood, him lacked righte naught ; 
Eke thereto was he right a merry man 
And spake of mirth amonges ot'thing 
When than we hadden made our reckonings." 

It was in the merry spring time of the year 
1383, as the inscription on the sign informs us 

" Whenne that April with his showres sote 
The drought of March, hath pierced to the rote, 
And bathed every vein in such licour 
Of which virtue engendered is the flower," 

a time of the year when 

" Longer folk to go on pilgrimage, 
And specially from every shire's end 
Of Englande, to Canterbury they wend, 
The holy, blissful martyr for to seek, 
That them hath holpen, when that they were sick," 

that Chaucer and his company met at the 

St. Thomas of Canterbury was murdered in 
the year 1170, by four knights, instigated thereto 


by a passionate exclamation of King Henry II., 
who was at feud with him relative to the 
respective rights of Monarchy and the church, 
and his shrine during the intervening years had 
become one of the most popular in the kingdom ; 
the Saxon people, down-trodden by their 
Xorman lords, looking upon him as a sort of 
clerical Robin Hood, the defender of the rights 
of the poor against Regal and Baronial 
oppression, and in process of time it had become 
resplendant with precious metals and gems, the 
offerings of pious devotees. Says Chaucer 

" Befell that in that season, on a day, 
In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay, 
Ready to wenden on my pilgrimage 
To Canterbury, with devout courage, 
At night was come unto that hostelry ; 
With nine and twenty in a company, 
Of sundry folk by aventure yfall 
In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all, 
That toward Canterbury wouldeh ride. 
The stables and the chambers weren wide 
And well we weren eased atte best " (well accommodated). 

He then gives a series of photographs of the 
pilgrims, representatives of various classes of the 
people of England at a most eventful period of 
our history a period when Wycliffe was laying 
the foundations of the Protestant Church ; when 


Wat Tyler and his fellow serfs were rising in 
assertion of their liberties ; when Chaucer and 
Gower were fashioning the English language into 
shape, as contradistinguished from the Norman- 
French of the Court ; when the feeble Richard 
occupied the throne, to be shortly driven hence 
by his cousin Bolingbroke, which eventually led 
to the Wars of the Roses, and resulted in the 
extinction of a vast number of the Norman 
families, rendering it easier for the Saxon element 
of the kingdom afterwards to gain the 

Amongst the company are a knight, a worthy 
man, who had done deeds of prowess in all parts 
of the world, yet was meek as a maid, who was 
dressed in a "fustian gipon, alle besmattered" 
with marks of travel ; along with him was his 
son, " a younge squire, a lover and lusty 
bachelor," with " lockes curl'd, as they were laid 
in press;" also his attendant, a yeoman "clad in 
green," and under his belt "a sheaf of peacock 
arrows bright and keen." 

There was also a prioress 

" That of her smiling was full simple and coy ; 
Whose greatest oath n'as of Saint Eloy," 

who sung the service " entuned in her nose full 


s weetly, and French she spoke full fair and 
fetisly, after the school of Stratford-atte-Bow." 

"A monk there was, an outsider, that loved venery ; 
Of pricking and of hunting for the hare, 
Was all his lust for no cost would he spare." 

" A friar there was, a wanton and merry 
Limitour (a licensed beggar), a full solemne man, 

Was an easy man to give penance 

There as he wist (to those he knew) to have a 
good pittance." Who 

" Knew well the taverns in every town, 
And every hosleter and gay tapstere, 
Better than a lazar or a beggere." 

A merchant with a forked beard, " a Flandrish 
beaver hat, and bootes clasped fair and fetisly." 

A threadbare clerk of Oxenford, on a horse as 
" lean as a rake," who would rather have twenty 
bookes of Aristotle and his philosophy, 

"Then robes rich, fiddle, or psaltry." 

A sergeant-at-law, " wary and wise, that often 
had been at the Porvis " (the portico of St. 
Paul's, where lawyers met for consultation). 

A Frankelin, with white beard and sanguine 
complexion, and a silken " Gipciere " (purse) 
hanging from his girdle ; a pompous sort of man, 
fond of good living, in whose house "snowed 


meat and drink, who was an important man in his 
county, lord and sire at sessions, high sheriff, and 
full often knight of the shire." 

A haberdasher, a carpenter, a webbe (weaver), 
a dyer, and a tapiser ; citizens with pouches full 
of silver; "yclothed in one livery of a solemn 
and great fraternity." 

" Well seemed each of them a fair burgess, 
To sitte in a Guildhall, on the dais," 

and all fitted by wisdom to be aldermen. 

With them had they a cook, " to boil the 
chickens and the marrow bones," who, perhaps in 
consequence of the hot nature of his vocation, 
had a wondrous penchant for " draughts of 
London ale." 

A shipman, " who rode upon a rouncy (hack) 
as best he could," somewhat after the style of 
modern mariners. 

A doctor of physic, " well grounded in 
astronomy," who 

" Kept his patient a full great deal 
In houres by his magic natural." 

A wife of Bath, who had had five husbands and 
was ready for a sixth ; a buxom dame, dressed in 
scarlet hosen and hat as broad as a buckler, who 
smirked and smiled upon the squire, much as the 


widow Wadman did, in an after age, upon Uncle 

A poore parson, "rich of holy thought and 
work," a learned man and clerk " that Christe's 
Gospel woulde preach living at home in his 
parish instead of running up to London," unto St. 
Paul's, to seek for a chantry for souls. 

"For Christe's love and his Apostles twelve, 
He taught, but first he followed it himselve." 

With whom was his brother, a ploughman, 
" that had of dung laid many of fother : a true 
swinker, who would thresh and dike and delve for 
Christ's sake, for every poore wight, withouten 
hire, if it lay in his might." 

A miller, " a stout carle for the nones, full big 
of brawn and eke of bones, with beard red as any 
sow or fox, a wart on the cop of his nose, whence 
sprouted a crop of heres, red as the bristles of a 
sowe's ears ; a jangler and goliardeis (reveller), 
who could well stealen corn and tollen thrice," and 
moreover " a baggepipe well could he blow and 
soun, and there withal he brought us out of 

A Manciple, or purchaser of victuals for Inns of 

A Reeve, or land steward, a slender, choleric 


man, closely shaven and shorn, with calfless legs, 
who " ever rode hinderest of the rout." 

A Sumpnour, or appositor of an Ecclesiastical 
court, "with a fine red cherubinne's face and a 
visage with knobs on his cheeks, of which 
children were afraid ; a great drinker and garlic 
eater, and likerous (lecherous) as a sparrow." 

His friend, a Pardoner, fresh from Rome, with 
a wallet " bretful of pardons and relics," making 
more money of them in a day than the parson of 
the parish in " moneths tway." 

When this motley company had settled their 
reckoning with Harry Bailly, their host, he 
offered to be their guide to Canterbury, and as 
this was not the time when pilgrims hobbled 
along with peas in their shoes, he suggested that, 
to beguile the tedium of the way, they should 
each tell a tale, one going and another returning, 
and that he who told the best, should, on their 
return to the Tabard, be entertained at supper at 
the cost of the rest, which proposition was 
carried by acclamation ; and the following 
morning the merry party mounted their nags in 
the court-yard and set forth, headed by the 
landlord, beside whom rode the miller, 
playing lustily on his bag-pipes until they 


got clear of the town, when the tale-telling 

It may be supposed that they arrived safely at 
Canterbury, knelt at the shrine of the martyr, 
purchased their brooches, in evidence of their 
having been there, and caroused again on their 
return in the Pilgrims' Hall ; but Chaucer leaves 
them on the road, prevented, perhaps, by 
troubles or death from giving the tales of the 
backward journey. 

As the pilgrimages are coming into fashion, it 
may be that fresh gatherings may take place in 
Southwark ; but it will not be at the Tabard, 
under the guidance of Harry Bailly, but at the 
London Bridge terminus, under the leadership of 
Cook, the excursionist ; and it is to be feared 
that, instead of a Chaucer to depict the humours 
of the journey, their proceedings will be narrated 
by a newspaper correspondent. 

prtor\> of the Ibol^ nnit\>, 

NOT long had the Norman dynasty ruled 
over England. Scarcely more than a 
third of a century had elapsed since the Norman 
Duke unfurled his standard at Hastings, and in 
that interval the first William and the second 
William had passed away, and Henry le 
Beauclerk, by an act of usurpation had leapt into 
the vacant throne, which belonged by right to 
his elder brother Robert. The Saxon people, 
reft of their lands, deprived of their liberties, and 
subject to oppressive laws, had become the 
vassals and serfs of their Norman feudal lords, and 
chafed with sullen submission under the yoke. 
Great, therefore, was their delight when their 
new king announced his intention of marrying a 
daughter of their old line of kings a descend- 
ant of the great Alfred, and they cherished hopes 
that by this infusion of Saxon blood into the 
veins of their future kings, the Saxon race would 
be elevated in position, and that, being vastly 
more numerous, they would eventually, by 


marriages, absorb the Norman few and England 
again become Saxon. 

Matilda, Henry's Queen (born 1079, married 
1100, died 1118), was the daughter of Malcolm 
Canmore, King of Scotland, by Margaret, 
daughter of Eadward, the JEtheling, who was 
the son of Eadmund Ironside, the lineal descend- 
ant of King Alfred. She was originally called 
Editha, which name was changed, at the request 
of her godfather. Prince Robert, brother of her 
future husband, who wished her to be named 
after his mother. * : Matildem quoe prius dicta 
Edithe," say Ordericus Vitalis. In the year 
1093, her father was slain before Alnwick Castle. 
and her mother died of grief shortly after. 
Donald Bane usurped the throne of his nephew, 
and Eadgar, the .^Etheling, removed his nephews 
and nieces to England, not deeming them safe in 
Scotland. Matilda was educated in the 
Xunneries of Romsey and Wilton, under her 
aunt, Christina, the Abbess. She had two or 
three eligible offers of marriage, and it was with 
some reluctance, and not until a council had 
determined that she was under no religious vows, 
that she accepted the hand of the king. 

She became very popular by influencing the 


king in the reformation of abuses, the granting of 
charters of privileges, and making good laws. 
Robert of Gloucester says 

" Many were the good laws that were made in England 
Through Maud, the good Queen, as I understand.'* 

Amongst other good deeds besides founding the 
Priory, she established a hospital at St. Giles-in- 
the-Fields, built a bridge over the river Lea, after- 
wards called the bridge of Stratford-le-Bow, which 
was so named because it was the first " bowed " or 
arched bridge built in England, and was generally 
called Maud's Bridge ; made new roads, repaired 
old ones, and was a benefactor to the Abbey of 
St. Alban's, in whose " Golden Book/' now in the 
British Museum, is her miniature, with an 
inscription, " Queen Matilde's gave us Ball wick 
and Lilleburn." 

William of Malmesbury thus sums up her 
character : " She was singularly holy . 
a rival of her mother's piety ; never committing 
any impropriety. Clad in hair cloth, beneath 
her royal habit, in Lent, she trod the thresholds 
of the churches, barefoot. Nor was she disgusted 
at washing the feet of the diseased." She had 
issue a son, William, drowned with his bride and 
a host of nobles in the " Blanche Nef," when 


coming from Normandy, and a daughter, 
afterwards the Empress Matilda, mother of 
King Henry Second. 

The most splendid act of munificence on the 
part of the Queen was the foundation of the 
magnificent Priory of the Holy Trinity, in the 
year 1108, which became in process of time the 
greatest and richest priory in the City. 

At this period, when the City was a forest of 
spires and towers, there stood, on the north-east 
of Leadenhah 1 Street, just within Aldgate, four 
parish churches, those of St. Catherine, St. 
Michael, St. Mary Magdalene, and the Blessed 
Trinity. The church of St. Michael is supposed 
to have been one of the most ancient Christian 
temples in England ; at this time the earth had 
risen twenty feet above its level, and it was only 
necessary to take down the tower to make way 
for the priory. The body or crypt of this 
venerable relic of antiquity was discovered a few 
years ago, and unhappily destroyed. The church 
erected to the honour of Christ and St. Mary 
Magdalene was founded by Siredus, charged 
with an annual payment of 30s. to the Dean and 
Chapter of Waltham, which the Queen com- 
pounded for by giving them possession of a mill. 


These four churches and parishes were cleared 
away for the site of the priory, which was built 
on the ground occupied by that of St. Michael. 
It was 300 feet in length facing Leadenhall 
Street, and was bounded on the east by what is 
now the street of Houndsditch. 

Just outside the gate was the church of St. 
Botolph the Briton, a rectory of very ancient 
date, belonging to and standing on the land of 
the Knighten Guild, which was given by the 
knights to the prior and brethren, who rebuilt it 
and placed their arms over the door. It was 
repaired 1661, escaped the fire, became ruinous, 
and was rebuilt 1741-4. 

After the clearance of the land, the buildings 
rapidly rose, and, when completed, were filled 
with Canons Regular of the order of St. 
Augustine, with Norman as the Prior, and is 
said to have been the first House of Canons 
Regular established in England. 

For endowment, the Queen granted to the 
fraternity lands within the walls, which, when 
they obtained the Soke outside the walls, was 
called "the Inner Soken," the boundaries of 
which are described in a book called Dunthorne, 
written by one of the brethren, as extending from 


Aldgate to the Bailey of the Tower, to St. 
Olave's Church, Coleman Church, and Fen 
Church, by the house of Theobald Fitzloo, " the 
lane leading wherto is now stopped, because it 
had been suspected of thieves," then by the 
Church of St. Michael to Lime Street, and by 
the Church of St. Andrew as far as the Chapel 
of St. Augustine-upon-the-WalL She gave them 
also Aldgate and 25 per annum from the city of 

Thus runs the deed of gift : " Maud, by the 
grace" of God, Queen of England, to R Bishop of 
London, and all the faithful of the Holy Church. 
greeting. Be it known to you that I, by the 
advice of Archbishop Anselm, and with the 
assent and confirniation of my Lord King Henry, 
have given and confirmed to the Church of 
Christ, seated near the walls of London, free and 
discharged from all subjection, as well to the 
Church of Waltham, and all other churches, 
except the church of St Paul, London, and the 
bishops, with all things appertaining to the same, 
for the honour of God, to the Canons regularly 
serving God in the same with Xorman the Prior, 
for ever, for the redemption of souls, and of those 
of our parents. I have in like manner given 


them the gate of Aldgate, with the Soc belonging 
to the same, which was my lordship, and 
two-third parts of the revenue of the city of 
Exeter. And it is my will and I command that 
the said Canons hold the lands and all things 
belonging to the Church, well and peaceably and 
honourably and freely, with all the liberties 
and customs which my Lord, King Henry, by 
his charter confirmed to them, so that neither 
wrong nor injury be done to them. Witness : 
William, Bishop of Winchester ; Roger, Bishop 
of Salisbury ; Robert, Bishop of Lincoln." 

Henry, confirmed this deed, with further 
privileges of sac and soc, thol and theam, ingfang 
theft and outfang theft, and all other their 
customs, as were within as without. 

The Inner Soke is identical with the present 
ward of Aldgate, but there is no record to show 
that the priory was represented in the 
Court of Aldermen for this ward, as they were 
afterwards for their Outer Soken. 

Soon afterwards, in the year 1115, the Priory 
had a considerable accession of landed property, 
by a grant of what now constitutes the ward of 

In the reign of King Eadgar, thirteen knights 


who had done service to the realm, asked the 
king to bestow upon them a tract of land lying 
desolate outside Aldgate, comprising what is now 
covered by the Minories, Houndsditch, Petticoat 
Lane, etc., and Whitechapel to the Bars. 
Eadgar consented on two conditions, that they 
should each be victors in three combats, 
one under ground, one upon ground, and one 
above ground, and that on a certain day they 
should tilt with lances against all comers in East 
Smithfield. All this was accomplished by the 
knights with great glory, and the king made 
them a grant of the land, constituting them a 
guild under the name of the " Knighten Guild," 
the land being named " Portsoken," signifying 
the " Franchise at the Gate." 

Eadgar's charter of incorporation was confirmed 
by Eadward the Confessor, William I., William 
II., and Henry I. 

After the establishment of the priory, the 
knights of the guild, for the glory of God and the 
Blessed Trinity, and out of a chivalrous 
admiration of their pious Queen, gave to the 
prior and canons the whole of their land, 
franchise, and liberties, and the church of St. 
Botolph the Briton, and took upon themselves 


the habit of the order, becoming members of the 

In attestation of their grant they placed their 
charters upon the altar of the priory church, and 
gave Norman, the prior seisin of the land in the 
church of St. Botolph, which stood upon the land ; 
Barnard, Prior of Dunstable ; John, Prior of 
Derland ; Geoffrey Clinton, Chamberlain of 
London, and other clerks and laymen being 
witnesses thereof. King Henry gave a 'confirma- 
tory charter, as did, afterwards, Gilbert, 
William, and Roger, Bishops of London, St. 
Alphage, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Popes 
Alexander and Innocent, the latter adding that 
the Church of St. Botolph should be served by 
one of the canons of the priory, removable at the 
discretion of the prior. 

In consequence of this acquisition, the prior 
was admitted as a Ward Alderman of the City 
of London, the land, although lying beyond the 
boundaries, being within the liberties of the City. 
He met in the Council Chamber, took part in 
the deliberations, feasted in the hall, and rode 
forth in pageants, clad in scarlet as other 
aldermen, but had his robes cut in clerical 


Allen, in his History of London, intimates that 
he sat in the Guildhall, in a clerical capacity, to 
look after the interests of the church, which was 
not correct, his position there being the 
representative of the temporalities of the Ward. 

Prior Norman appears to have been entrusted 
with the superintendence of the building of the 
priory, and, like others not trained in 
commercial pursuits, to have been somewhat 
unthrifty in the expenditure of money, for we 
find that when he had built up his refectory, 
kitchen, and larder, his funds were exhausted, 
and he had not the wherewithal to supply the 
necessary food for his hungry canons ; but the 
matrons and maidens of the city passing by, and 
seeing the tables laid out without the necessary 
appliances, brought them loaves of bread every 
Sunday for the week's consumption, until the 
rents began to come in and they were able to 
provide for themselves. 

After the destruction of the four churches it 
became necessary to celebrate mass in two parts 
of the new r church at the same time, which caused 
a great deal of confusion and discord, until at 
length a separate church was built for the St. 
Catherine's parishioners in the priory church- 


yard, where mass was performed by one of the 
canons ; but the people were required to attend 
the conventual church at festivals and fasts, and 
to have their children baptised there. This gave 
rise to some ill-feeling and disputes, the people 
wishing to have all the services and sacraments of 
religion celebrated in their own church ; and in 
1414, when William Haradon was prior, the 
matter was referred to the Bishop of London for 
arbitration, and he decreed that St. Catherine's 
should have a baptismal font, and be allowed to 
ring their bells on Easter day ; that they should 
celebrate the feast of the dedication of their own 
church within its walls, but should attend at the 
festival of the dedication of the conventual 
church, and then and there " give their pence, 
halfpence, and farthings in token of submission ;" 
and that the Sacrament in St. Catherine's 
Church should be administered by a canon of the 
Priory, " but that the Priory should be at no 
other charges for the chapel." All this the 
bishop, " out of his paternal affections, yielded 

The church was denominated St. Catherine 
Cree, the word Cree being an ancient method of 
spelling the name of Christ, as pronounced by the 


French, and was added as being an adjunct of 
the conventual or Christ Church. A bell tower 
was built 1504, Lord Mayor Sir John Perceval 
having left money for that purpose. The present 
church was built 1630, and escaped the fire of 
1066. It was at its dedication that Laud 
indulged in Popish ceremonials, which aroused 
the indignation of the Puritans, and assisted in 
paving the way of the Archbishop to the block. 
The churchyard of St. Catherine was a popular 
place for the performance of moralities and 
miracle plays, which took place on Sundays. 
There is an entry in the parish books " Received 
of Hugh Gryrnes, for licence given to certain 
players to play their interludes in the churchyard 
from the feast of Easter An. D'ni. 1565, until 
the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, next 
coming, every holy day, to the use of the parish, 
27s. 8d." Hans Holbein is supposed to have 
been buried in the church. 

The Priory had not been built twenty years 
when it ran a great risk of being destroyed by 
the fire of 1136, second only to the great 
conflagration of 1666, which broke out near 
London stone, and destroyed the City westward 
to Clement's Danes, and eastward to Aldgate, 


the flames sweeping up to the walls of the 
Priory, northward to St. Paul's Cathedral, 
which was partially, or, as Matthew Paris states, 
entirely, consumed, and by London Bridge, 
which was of wood, and entirely burnt, into 

Ralph the Prior, circa 1145, with the consent of 
the Canons, exchanged a plot of land near the 
river, in the outer-soken, and '* all the mills there 
in the shambles," with Maud, Stephen's queen, 
for land in Hertfordshire, where she built and 
endowed the Hospital of St. Katherine, which 
was repaired and enlarged by Queen Eleanor in 
1273. It was removed to Regent's Park in 
the present century to make way for St. 
Katherine's Docks. 

King Henry II. having debased the coin of the 
realm, Stephen, the Prior, 1180, demanded 
25 12s. 6d. from the city of Exeter, as the then 
value of the 25 per annum granted out of the 
city revenues. The citizens refused to pay the 
additional 12s. Gd., but were compelled by a 
mandate from the King. 

In the year 1215, when King John was at feud 
with his Barons, Matthew Paris informs us that, 
after the siege of Northampton, the Barons 


came, by way of Bedford and Ware, to London, 
entering the City by Aldgate, and that " as they 
passed along, they spoiled the Fryars' Houses 
and searched their coffers," on which occasion, 
doubtless, the Brethren of Holy Trinity, lying so 
near the gate, would have black-mail levied on 
them. At the same time they repaired the 
ruined gate and put it in a state of defence, 
obtaining the materials from the houses of the 

Eustacius, the eighth Prior, 1264, appointed 
Theobald Fitz-James as his deputy in the 
Aldermanship, he deeming it inconsistent with 
his spiritual vocation to perform secular duties. 

William Rising became Prior in 1377, when 
there is a record of his taking the oaths as 

The year 1348-9 (23rd Edward III.) was long 
after remembered for a great pestilence, which 
broke out in Northern Asia, spread over Europe, 
and this year committed terrible ravages in 
London. The city graveyards became choked 
with corpses, and suburban cemeteries were 
extemporised for the wholesale reception of the 
dead. Xicholas, then Prior, sold to John Grev, 
clerk of the Corporation, a plot of ground in the 


outer-soken, near East Smithfield, to be used as 
a place of burial, with the condition annexed that 
it should be called the Churchyard of the Holy 
Trinity, " which ground he (John Grey) caused, 
by the aid of divers devout citizens, to be enclosed 
with a wall of stone." It was consecrated by 
Ralph, Bishop of London, and a chapel built 
" for the honour of God," and near by King 
Edward built a small monastery " of our Lady of 
Grace," in gratitude for preservation from 
shipwreck in a tempest at sea. 

One Sunday morning, the llth of May, 1471, 
when the brethren were at Mass, they were 
alarmed by an attack on Aldgate. For some 
days arrows had been shot into the City over the 
wall, and the houses of the outside suburb had 
been burnt. The besiegers were Sir Thomas 
Nevil, usually called the Bastard of Fauconbridge, 
and his followers. He was a kinsman of the 
Great Earl of Warwick, who, after his defection 
from the cause of Edward IV., had made him 
Admiral of the Lancastrian fleet. Warwick had 
fallen a month ago at Barnet, and the Yorkist 
King Edward in consequence became firmly 
established on the throne, when Sir Thomas 
conceived the mad project of landing with his 


sailors, marching to London, and re-establishing 
the Lancastrian family. The Londoners shut 
their gates against him, but he broke down 
Aldgate on this Sunday morning, and several of 
the insurgents rushed through when the 
portcullis was let down, and those within were 
slain by the citizens, headed by Basset, Alder- 
man of the ward. The Lieutenant of the Tower 
then came up with a body of troops, the portcullis 
was raised, and the Bastard and his followers 
driven into Essex, "with sharp shot and fierce 
fight," being pursued as far as Mile End. 

The priory waxed rich, grew famous, and 
flourished during a period of 433 years, no doubt 
becoming luxurious, idle, and corrupt, like other 
fraternities; until at length, in 1531, the end 
came. King Henry VIII., wishing to reward 
Sir Thomas Audley, afterwards Lord Chancellor 
and first Baron Audley of Walden, for his service 
as Speaker, in the impeachment of Wolsey, cast 
his eye upon this Priory, sent for Nicholas 
Hancock, the last Prior, whom he cajoled with 
complimentary praises, commending his hospi- 
tality, and telling him that a man of his merit and 
ability deserved higher preferment, and that if he 
would surrender the Priory into his (the King's) 


hands, he should have something better. After 
some hesitation the Prior gave up the house, the 
Canons were sent to other houses of the same 
order, and the Priory, with all its appurtenances, 
bestowed on Audley. 

Sir Thomas Audley determined to build 
himself a mansion on the site, and offered the 
church to any one who would take it down, but it 
was so strongly built that no one would undertake 
the cost. He then pulled it down himself, and 
allowed any one to have the materials who would 
carry them away, giving the four large bells to 
Stepney Church, and the five smaller to St. 
Stephen, Coleman Street. He then added new 
buildings, w r here he dwelt until his death, 1544, 
when the property passed, by the marriage of his 
daughter, to Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, 
who was beheaded 1572, and it was then called 
Duke's Place. It descended to their son, 
Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk, who sold it to 
the Corporation, was eventually taken down, and 
streets built on the site. The only vestige 
remaining is a stone arch between 73, Leadenhall 
Street and 39, Mitre Court. 

The Priory possessed a messuage, dovecote, 
and garden of seven acres, on the east side of 


Houndsditch. which were given to Sir T. Audley, 
and which he bestowed on Magdalen College, 
Cambridge. In the street leading thereto, one of 
the priors had built some cottages for bedridden 
people, which Stow remembered as having seen 
in his boyhood, the bedridden people, men and 
women, lying by the windows, that devout 
persons might see them as they passed and 
bestow alms upon them : which street, afterwards. 
according to Munday. was inhabited by "these 
men, or rather monsters in the shape of men, who 
profess to live by lending, and yet will lend 
nothing but upon pawns." 

Stow, who lived in the parish of St. Andrew 
Undershaft, and was buried in the parish church. 
speaks from personal recollection of the Prior 
" keeping a bountiful house for rich and poor, as 
well within the houses as to all comers at the 
gate," and, when a boy, of going to farmer 
Goodman, in the outer-soken, where Goodman's 
Fields now are, for milk at the rate of ** three 
pints, hot from the kine, for a halfpenny/ 1 

The inhabitants of Duke's Place being left 
without a church, after the demolition of the 
Priory Church, attended that of St. Catherine 
Cree until the reign of James I., when Trinity 


Christ Church was built for them out of the ruins 
of the Priory, and was consecrated in 1622. It 
escaped the Great Fire, and has since been called 
the Church of St. James, Duke's Place. In 
Strype's time it claimed the right of solemnizing 
marriages without licence or proclamation of 

Convent of the Sisters (UMnoresses of tbe 
r&er of St. Clare, 


ONDROU8LY different was Plantagenet 
London from that of the Victorian era : 
different in every respect, notably in size, 
population, and aspect. It was chiefly comprised 
within the walls, which commenced at the 
Postern Gate of the Tower, and completed the 
circuit at the river near the present Black friars 
Bridge. There were a few outlying groups of 
houses and villages ; a road along the river strand 
through the little village of Charing to 
Westminster, and marshes on the north, with 
causeways to the villages of Clerkenwell, Hoxton, 
and Islington. It was, however, an eminently 
picturesque city, with its gabled and timbered 
houses, its monastic edifices, and its church 
towers. It was computed that then two-thirds 
of the entire space was occupied by religious 
edifices and their grounds. Towards the end of 
the fourteenth century there were within the 
walls, eight friaries, five priories, four nunneries, 


five collegiate establishments, seventeen hospitals 
with resident brotherhoods, nine other religious 
fraternities, and more than one hundred parish 
churches. At that time the court end of the 
town was the neighbourhood of the Tower. 
There royalty dwelt ; and clustering round were 
the mansions of nobles and the town houses of 
bishops and abbots. 

The locality immediately under notice was a 
road running from the Tower postern, outside the 
City wall and ditch, to Aldgate, along what is 
now called the Minories. Aldgate, or Ealdgate, 
so named from its antiquity, was the eastern out- 
let from the City, the great Essex road running 
eastward therefrom. Immediately within the 
gate stood the magnificent priory of the Holy 
Trinity, founded by Matilda, Queen of Henry I., 
and close by was the town house of the Barons 
Nevil, afterwards Earls of Westmoreland, who 
gave an abbess to the convent of St. Clare. 
Outside the gate there stretched an open expanse 
of country, with foliaged trees, meadows, and 
silver streamlets, where, on holidays, the young 
citizens gambolled, practised archery, and, in the 
more secluded parts, whispered in the ears of the 
young citizenesses " the old, old tale." Looking 


eastward, the low square-towered church of the 
village of Stebenhede (Stepney) by the riverside 
morasses might be seen ; and nearer London, its 
chapel-of-ease, at the villa Beatse Marise Mat- 
felon, on the Essex road, whilst more to the 
north might be discerned the priory of St. Mary 
Spittal, founded a century previously. Here, 
outside the gate, in the year of grace 1293, 
Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, and Blanche, his 
countess, whilom Queen of Xavarre, founded the 
convent of Minoresses of the order of St. Clare, 
dedicated to the " Blessed St. Mary," and amply 
endowed it with lands and messuages. St. Clare, 
Clara, Claire, or Chiara, as the name is rendered 
in different tongues, was born of a noble and 
wealthy family at Assisi, 1193, died 1253, and 
was canonized 125G. She was exceedingly 
beautiful, and had many offers of marriage, but 
when quite young, despite the opposition of her 
parents, resolved to dedicate herself to God. St. 
Francis had just then founded the Franciscan 
branch of the Mendicant Orders, and lived with 
ten " Frati Minores," in a hut on the Porziunculo, 
near Assisi, living austere lives, in absolute 
poverty, depending upon charity for their daily 
food, and maintaining strict silence, excepting 


when it was absolutely necessary to speak. To 
them Clare fled, and desired to be admitted as a 
nun of the order. She was followed by her 
kinsfolk, but clung with such tenacity to the 
altar, that they were compelled to leave her. 
She then founded the Order of Poor Clares, or 
Sisters Minoresses, with rules of the most rigid 
austerity, relating chiefly to abstinence, poverty, 
and silence. Their bed was the bare earth, they 
usually went barefooted, and were habited in 
grey robes, girdled with a knotted rope, and a 
white coif on the head. Within fifty years after 
her death, however, they were released from the 
vow of poverty, and the others were modified, 
from which time they accumulated property, 
built themselves comfortable houses, and indulged 
in social -con verse. The first convent was erected 
outside the walls of Assisi, but afterwards 
removed within, where a splendid church the 
church of Santa Chiara d'Assisi was erected 
over her tomb. In pictures St. Clare is usually 
represented either with the Pix, to denote piety, 
or the lily, the emblem of purity. She was 
generally spoken of by the nuns as the " Madre 

Edmund Plantagenet, surnamed Crouchback, 


was the second son of King Henry III. ; born 
1245, died 1295. In his eighth year, 1253, he 
was created Earl of Chester, and invested by the 
Pope with the title of King of Sicily and Apulia, 
but neither was of much value, as the former 
was soon afterwards transferred to his elder 
brother Edward, afterwards King Edward I., and 
Conrad, the real King of Sicily, was still living. 
He was afterwards created Earl of Leicester, 
1264, and Earl of Lancaster, 1267. He fought 
in the wars of Gascony, Wales, and Scotland, and 
was two years in Palestine. He had grants of 
the forfeited castles and manors of the rebel 
barons, Simon de Montfort, Ferrers, Earl of 
Derby, and Nicholas de Segrave, and had licence, 
21 Edward I., to castellate his house, the Savoy, 
in the Strand. His death occurred in France ; he 
had invested Bordeaux, and not being able to 
reduce it, grief brought on a disease which 
terminated fatally. His body was brought to 
England and buried in Westminster Abbey, but 
not until, in accordance with the instructions in 
his will, all his debts were paid. He marrried, 
first, Aveline, daughter and heiress of William de 
Fortibus, Lord of the Seigniory of Holderness, 
Co. York, who d.s.p. the following year. 


Secondly, he married Blanche, daughter of 
Robert, Earl of Artois (third son of King Louis 
VIII. , of France), and relict of Henry, King of 
Navarre, by whom he had issue Thomas, second 
Earl, who, after heading the rising of the barons 
against Gaveston, temp. Edward II., was taken 
prisoner at Boroughbridge, Co. York, beheaded at 
Pontefract, and attainted 1321. Henry, his 
brother, was restored in the earldoms, whose son 
Henry was created Duke of Lancaster, 1351, but 
d.s.p.m., leaving issue Maude and Blanche, the 
latter of whom married John of Gaunt, Earl of 
Richmond, afterwards Duke of Lancaster, by 
whom she had issue Henry of Bolingbroke, 
afterwards King Henry IV. 

Piously disposed, as we may charitably suppose 
them to have been, or perchance for the welfare 
of their souls as it was usual, in that age, to 
make bargains with Heaven to build religious 
houses as the price of exemption from the pains 
of purgatory the Earl and Countess built the 
nunnery in the precincts of the court, and filled it 
with nuns of the order of St. Clare, brought over 
from some Continental convent by Queen 
Blanche, " to serve God, the Blessed Virgin, and 
St. Francis," for which they had a licence from 


King Henry III. Stow informs us that the 
frontage of the convent was fifteen perches 
twenty-seven feet in length, with all needful 
interior appliances, and garden land ; doubtless a 
pleasant home for the Sisters, with its outlook 
over the Essex fields and the river Thames, with 
its quaintly-fashioned vessels passing up and 
down. It was well endowed by its founders, but 
had other benefactors as well, and had messuages 
in the Vintry, Wood Street, Lad Lane, Lombard 
Street, Christ Church Lane, Shirburgh Lane, 
etc. The Sisterhood also held the Manor of 
Apuldercome, and had a grant from William 
Walshe, 7 Edward IV., of a messuage, 
called Harteshorn, in the parish of St. Mary 

The original licence for the foundation is dated 
21 Edward I. A charter was granted to "the 
sisters Minoresses, without" Aldgate," quitting 
them of tallage of their land in the City, dated 9 
Edward II. ; and hi the fourteenth of the same 
reign, another to " the Abbey of the Minoresses 
of St. Mary of the order of St. Clare, without 
the walls of the City," confirming the holding of 
certain lauds and messuages "gotten of divers 
well-aftected persons." Other charters of con- 


firmation were granted to the Sisterhood, 2 
Henry IV., and 1, 16, 25 Henry V. 

The Sisters of St. Clare flourished here for a 
period of 246 years, praying, fasting, and 
mortifying the flesh, with intervals possibly of 
laughing, feasting, and enjoyment of their pleasant 
home ; or it may be, as we know is often the 
case, even with the Angelic sex, when thrown 
together for days and years, the fasting and 
feasting and prayer might be mixed up with 
ingredients of wrangling, envy, and jealousy, 
until it all came to an end, when the ruthless 
Tudor king laid his sacrilegious hands on the 
monastic establishments, and spared not even 
the homes of the gentler sex, and the house of 
the Sisters Minoresses was surrendered by Dame 
Elizabeth Salvage, 1539. 

During these two-and-a-half centuries the 
Sisters witnessed many important events in the 
annals of England ; the deposition and murder of 
kings Ed ward II. and Richard II., the usurpation 
of Henry VI. and Richard III., the Wars 
of the Roses, the rise of Lollardism, the Interdict 
of the Kingdom under John, the Reformation, the 
introduction of the press, and the birth of English 
literature under Chaucer and Gower. It may be 


that the prioress who rode to Canterbury with 
Chaucer's pilgrims was the head of the Aldgate 

" There was also a nun, a prioress, 
That of her smiling was full simple and coy ; 
Her greatest oath was but by Saint Eloy : 
And she was cleped Madame Eglantine. 
Full well she sang the service divine, 
Entuned in her nose full sweetley : 
And French she spake full fair and fetisly, 
After the school of Stratford-atte-Bow." 

From their own windows they would see many a 
gay cavalcade of barons, knights, and ladies issue 
from the portals of the Tower to follow the sport 
of hawking in the fields, or play at some martial 
or other game, and many a brilliant procession 
going forth to tournament in Smithfield, or 
coronation in Westminster. They would behold 
the coronation pageants and feasts in the Tower 
of Richard II., the marriage of the rival Roses in 
the persons of Henry VII. and the Princess 
Elizabeth, and that of Prince Arthur and 
Catherine of Arragon, when a splendid 
tournament was held hard by. Their soft hearts 
would also often be awakened to compassion at 
hearing of the bloody deeds perpetrated in their 
neighbourhood, the murder of the young princes 


by their uncle, Richard of Gloucester, and the 
decapitation of Lord Cobham, Bishop Fisher, Sir 
Thomas More, Queen Anne Boleyn, and many 
another noble and distinguished personage. From 
their lattices, too, they would look upon the 
riding forth of the barons of the realm through 
Aldgate to attend the Parliament of Edward I., 
1299, held at the mansion of Lord Mayor Wallis, 
at Stepney ; the Wat Tyler mob rushing along, 
" with shouts and cries as if all the devils of hell 
had come in their company," to ransack the 
Tower, chop off the heads of the Lord Chancellor 
and Treasurer, and rudely kiss the King's mother, 
the " Fair Maid of Kent," and Princess of Wales, 
in 1381 ; and again in 1450, that of the Jack 
Cade insurgents, when they took Lord Say and 
Sele from the Tower and beheaded him in 

After the dissolution, the Priory became the 
residence of John Clerke, Bishop of Bath and 
Wells, 1523-41, Master of the Rolls, and 
Diplomatist, who was poisoned in Germany, 
when sent on an Embassy to the Duke of Cleves, 
to explain to him why Henry VIII. had divorced 
his sister ; after whom it was inhabited by some 
officials of the Tower, and in 1552 was granted to 


Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, by King Edward 
VI. Afterwards it became a storehouse for 
arms, and workshops for the fabrication of 
implements of warfare, but does not seem to have 
been of high repute, as Dryden says, "a comic 
writer who does not cause laughter, or a serious 
dramatist who does not excite emotion, is no 
more a good poet than is a Minories gunsmith a 
good workman/" 

Hbbe^ of St. flDar^ of (Braces, 
or lEast flMnster. 

IT was in the autumn of the year 1347, that 
a storm-shattered vessel might be seen 
threading its way up the Thames. Its single 
broad sail was rent in divers places, its single 
mast broken, and considerable portions of its 
lofty poop and its high pointed stem reft away. 
It had come from Calais, and in mid-channel had 
encountered a terrific tempest, every soul on 
board deeming himself lost, and offering up 
heartfelt prayers to the Virgin or his favourite 
saint for succour, or for intercession in case of 
death. Nevertheless, like English mariners in 
every after, and indeed former age, the crew 
depended not on prayers alone, but battled 
manfully with the winds and the waves, and at 
length with great difficulty succeeded in getting 
their vessel into the river, and slowly ascended 
its reaches, with their rent sail fluttering in the 
still boisterous wind. 

It was said of one our Norman monarchs, when 


he desired to pass over into Normandy, whilst a 
storm was raging and the seamen represented the 
perilous nature of the attempt, " Who ever heard 
of a King being lost at sea ? go I will, and at 
once, storm or no storm," and he did go, arriving 
safely at his destination. Perchance the fact of 
this Calais ship having a king aboard, with the 
immunity of kings from shipwreck, may have had 
something to do with its escape from destruction, 
at any rate it did survive the peril, and its having 
done so was the cause of the establishment of the 
Abbey of St. Mary of Graces. 

The royal personage who passed through the 
peril of the Straits was none other than the 
victor of Creci and Calais, the illustrious 
Plantagenet, Edward the Third. The three sons 
of Philip IV. of France having successively died 
without issue, his nephew, Philip of Valois. 
according to the Salique law, became his successor, 
but Edward of England claimed the throne as 
son of the daughter of Philip IV.. and entered 
France to assert his claim. He met his rival, 
Philip VI., at Creci, with 36,000 men, opposed 
to the French army of 130,000, and obtained a 
great victory, 36,000 of the French being slain 
and the rest taking to flight. He then marched 


to Calais, which he invested and took after a 
most obstinate defence of twelve months, on August 
4th 1347, after which occurred the famous historic 
incident of the six brave burghers of Calais 
presenting themselves before the victor in their 
shirts, and with, ropes round their necks, as 
voluntary victims to sate the vengeance of the 
king and save their town, and their subsequent 
pardon at the intercession of the Queen. Not- 
withstanding the obstinate defence of the town, 
the King could scarcely do less than accede to 
Philippa's request, since within its walls she had 
presented him with a fair daughter, afterwards 
called Margaret of Calais. 

His Queen and the newly-born princess were 
with him in the frail bark when it was tossed 
hither and thither, and its timbers riven by the 
storm, and in the midst thereof he prostrated 
himself and made a solemn vow, calling upon the 
nobles and ecclesiastics who accompanied him to 
bear witness thereto, that if God in His mercy 
should permit him to land safely in England, he 
would build and endow on the spot where he 
landed a monastery to the honour of God and 
our Lady of Graces. 

At length, after beating up the river as well as 


they were able with their broken rudder and 
shattered sails, the mariners drew the vessel 
alongside the shore a little to the east of 
East Smithfield, when the royal party landed, 
and passed, amid the acclamations of the few 
people congregated on the river bank, to the 
Tower, and offered up thanks in the chapel for 
their deliverance. 

Very different in aspect was the district 
eastward of Aldgate and the Tower when 
King Edward and his retinue landed there, from 
what it presents at present, with its docks, 
wharves, and warehouses, its stately ships and 
steam-vessels, to which the ship of King Edward 
might have served as a boat slung on davits by 
their side ; its wilderness of houses, countless 
miles of the squalid homes of wretchedness, 
poverty, and crime ; with multitudes of lofty 
chimneys, belching forth volumes of black smoke 
rising from the midst, and railways traversing it 
in every direction, accompanied by the incessant 
thunder of rushing trains, and the screeching 
whistle of the locomotive. 

The scene that presented itself to the monarch 
when stepping upon the river bank from his 
vessel was that of a flat expanse of pasture land 


and marshes, stretching away northward and 
eastward, protected from inundation by the 
embankment of the river, the work of the 
Romans, which, however, was not always 
effectual, as the Thames frequently overflowed 
defective portions of the bank and laid the land 
under water. There were also many rills and 
streamlets meandering along from the high lands 
of the north, which lost themselves in the marshes 
or found an outlet into the river. 

Scattered here and there on the more elevated 
parts were a few hamlets, mere clusterings of a 
few cottages, claybuilt, with cross timberings and 
straw-thatched roofs, with holes for chimneys, 
and in the walls latticed openings to admit light 
to the interiors. These were the abodes of 
cowherds, who tended their masters' cattle in the 
marshes, swineherds who drove their charges into 
the neighbouring forest to pick up the fallen 
acorns, fishermen who plied their daily toil on the 
river, and a few artizans, carpenters, smiths, and 
wrights, such as are now met with in remote 
country villages. These people were wretchedly 
poor, half-starved, ill-clad, and profoundly ignorant, 
the slaves of monkish superstition, and the 
downtrodden serfs of the nobles. Yet had they 


within them the old Saxon instinct .of freedom 
and liberty, and they were the men who in the 
following reign ranged themselves under the 
banners of Wat Tyler and Jack Straw. 

Westward stood the Tower of London, frown- 
ing grimly on the river bank at once a palace, a 
fortress, and a prison. Stretching northward 
therefrom, was the eastern wall of the City 
terminating in Aldgate, whence ran the road into 
Essex. Within the gate, with its tower 
overtopping the wall, might be seen the magnifi- 
cent Priory of the Holy Trinity, founded by 
Matilda, the Saxon Queen of Henry I., in the 
year 1108, and outside, along the road now called 
the minories, the humbler and more lowly built 
convent of the Nuns Minoresses of the Order of 
St. Clare, founded in 1239, by Edmund, Earl of 
Lancaster. And hard by, close to the gate, was 
the Church of St. Botolph, formerly belonging to 
the knights of the Cnighten guild, now to the 
Holy Trinity Priory. Close by the landing 
place was the hospital of St. Katherine, founded 
in 1148, by Matilda, Queen of Stephen, for the 
repose of the souls of her children Baldwin and 
Matilda ; refounded in 1273 by Eleanor, widow of 
King Henry III. Eastward was St. Chad's 


Well, round which grew up a hamlet, so called, 
since corrupted to Shadwell. Further on lay the 
hamlet of Stebenhithe (Stepney), with its low 
broad- towered church. North-westward of it, in 
the Essex Road, was the chapel of St. Mary 
Matfellon, whose name has given rise to much 
discussion, without any satisfactory result. 
Afterwards it was called the White Chapel, and 
hence it gave the name to the line of road 
running from Aldgate. Northward might be 
discerned the priory and hospital of St. Mary 
Spittle, a timber building with an angle turret, 
founded by Walter Brune and his wife, in the 
year 1197; and not far distant, on the west, the 
priory of St. Helen, with its hall, hospital, cloisters, 
and crypt, founded in 1210 by William Fitz- 
William, and dedicated to the Holy Cross and St. 
Helen, mother of the Emperor Constantine. 

Here, then, on the north side of St. 
Katherine's Hospital, and eastward of Little 
Tower Hill, King Edward laid the foundations of 
the monastery, and made it subject to the 
monastery of Beaulieu, in France, of which he 
was the founder. It was called also East 
Minster, or New Minster without the walls. 

" In the charter of endowment, dated March 


2nd, 1349, he gave the abbot and monks all 
those messuages, with the appurtenances at 
Tower Hill, which he had of John Corey, in pure 
and perpetual alms, ordering the house to be 
called ' The Royal Free Chapel of St. Mary of 

In another charter it is said, " The king 
founded this house in remembrance and acknow- 
ledgement of the goodness of Almighty God, and 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary, whom he had often called upon and 
found helpful to him by sea and by land ; in wars 
and other perils, and therefore ordered this house 
to be called ' The King's Free Chapel of the 
Blessed Virgin of Graces, in memoriam 
Gratiarum.' " 

He imported some monks from Beaulieu to 
occupy the house, and appointed Walter de Sta 
Cruce first president of the chapel, " whom he 
enjoined kindly to receive and treat the said 
religious who were to profess religion in the said 

The house was a stately building of the new 
decorated Gothic, with its floriated windows, 
crocketted pinacles, flying buttresses, and 
clustered pillars, presenting a fair aspect to 


passers by on the river, as it stood a little way 
back from the bank, glowing in its pristine 
freshness and beauty. And the boatmen would 
rest on their oars and listen to the matins or 
vespers chanted by the brethren within its 

In the 50th year of his reign, the King further- 
augmented the endowment by placing the Manors 
of Poplar, of Gravesend, and other manors in 
Kent, in trust for the abbey. 

Of the Abbots, the names of but few have 
survived. William de Santa Cruce, formerly 
Abbot of Geronden, was the first, to whom the 
king made an allowance of 20 per annum for the 
maintenance of the household. 

William Warden, probably his successor, was 
Abbot in 1360. Paschalis occurs in a record of 
the eighth Henry V., 1418. John Langton is 
named, in 1495, in a bequest from Jane Hall, of 
a tenement for her soul's health. In 1494 he 
was presented to the vicarage of Gedington, 
and in 1498, by Sir T. Lovelace, to that of 
Stokedanbey in the diocese of Lincoln. John, 
probably the same, occurs in 1503. Henry More 
made his profession as Abbot in 1516. 

The house was surrendered in 1539, when the 


revenues were estimated at 602 12s. 6d. gross, 
and 546 10s. net per annum. 

Dugdale says : " Of the manner of the 
surrender we find no account which gives 
occasion to guess that it was done by 
such as were in no authority, and there- 
fore it was thought fit to conceal the 
knowledge thereof. It was granted by Henry 
VIII., 34th, to Sir Arthur D'Arcy ; was clean 
pulled down, and of late times, in place thereof, 
is built a large storehouse for victuals, and 
convenient ovens are built there for baking 
biskets for the Royal Navy, and it is the 
victualling office for the same to this day. The 
grounds adjoyning, and belonging formerley to 
the said abbey, have small tenements built 

Maitland, 1772, in his History of London, says 
that a portion of the original building was then 
standing, " now converted into a bisket bake- 
house," which is probably an error, as Dugdale 
states that it was "clean pulled down." 

In the Chapter House, Westminster, there is 
an impression of the seal of' the abbey, appended 
to an indenture for the foundation of Henry 
VI I. s Chapel. In the centre is the Virgin with 


the infant Jesus, with a royal personage 
probably Edward III. kneeling in prayer on 
the dexter side, and a group of figures on the left. 
Underneath is a shield of the Royal arms, and 


Gbc Karons f itswaltcr of 

IT was with mutterings of discontent and 
gloomy forebodings that Saxon London 
beheld, soon after the victory at Hastings, the 
erection of a fortress at the east end of their 
city replaced soon after by the earliest portion 
of the present Tower of London and two huge 
castles to the west, ostensibly to guard, really to 
keep the City in awe. Duke William, after the 
Battle of Hastings, knowing how important it 
was to hold possession of the largest and most 
influential city in the kingdom, hastened up to 
London. The citizens, who felt not disposed to 
surrender their liberty to a foreigner, and who, 
influenced by Archbishop Stigand, had caused Ead- 
gar the Atheling to be proclaimed king, crossed the 
river to oppose his advance but were repulsed ; 
nevertheless, the Conqueror did not follow up 
his success by entering London, but burnt 
Southwark and went to subjugate the western 
counties. During his absence, the citizens 


deeming it the best policy to submit, at any rate 
for the present, tendered their homage to him at 
Berkhamstead. Suspicious, however, of their 
loyalty, he caused the castles to be erected, and 
to conciliate the citizens granted them a charter 
of four and a half lines written in Saxon, on a 
piece of parchment six and a half inches long and 
one broad. This laconic charter ran thus : 
" William the King salutes, with friendly 
greeting, William the Bishop, and Godfrey the 
Portreve, and all the burgesses within London, 
both French and English, and I declare that I 
grant you to be all law-worthy as you were in 
the days of King Edward ; and I grant that 
every child shall be his father's heir, after his 
father's days ; and I will not suffer any person to 
do you wrong. God keep you." 

The two western castles were built, at the 
confluence of the Fleet with the Thames. The 
one by the Baron Montfichet, soon afterwards 
destroyed by fire, stood at the bottom of Addle 
Hill, where the Carron Wharf is now located, and 
its western walls were washed by the Fleet, whose 
course was afterwards diverted further 
westward to make a site for the Dominican 


It was built by the Xorman, Ralph Baynard, 
feudal baron of Little Dunmow, Essex, who had 
followed the Conqueror to England, and was 
rewarded for his services at Hastings with grants 
of land in Essex and Middlesex, and, in con- 
nection with Baynard's Castle, the military 
governorship of London, as castellan and standard- 
bearer of the City. 

William, third lord, sided with Helias, Earl of 
Maine, in his attempt to throw off his allegiance 
to King Henry I., for which he was attainted, 
and his estates and honours given to Robert Fitz 
Richard, fifth son of Richard de Tonbridge, 
descended by the bend sinister from the Dukes of 

The church of St. Andrew, on the east side of 
Puddle-dock Hill, is supposed to have been built 
by Ralph Baynard, and was called " St. Andrew 
juxta Baynard Castle" until the erection, near 
by, of the King's Wardrobe, when it came to be 
called " St. Andrew by the Wardrobe." It was 
repaired by the parishioners in 1627, destroyed 
in the Great Fire of 1666, and rebuilt in 1672. 
The advowson was held by the Fitzwalters, and 
after passing through various hands came to the 
Crown in 1633. 


This Robert was steward and cupbearer to 
King Henry I., and a great favourite with that 
monarch, who, upon the attainder of William 
Baynard, bestowed upon him his forfeited estates, 
including the barony of Dunmow, and the castle 
by the Thames, with its appurtenant civic offices. 
He took an active part with Longchamp, Bishop 
of Ely, against the designs of John, Earl of 
Moreton, upon the crown, during the absence of 
his brother, Richard I., in Palestine ; died in 
1198, and was buried at Dunmow. Robert 
Fitzwalter, his eldest son, died in 1234. 

The tyranny of King John caused great 
discontent amongst the barons, with whom 
Fitzwalter agreed in sentiment, and this discontent 
was brought to a head, driving the barons to take 
up arms, by a flagrant attempt on the honour of 
Fitzwalter's family. Matilde, " the fair," his 
daughter was exceedingly beautiful, and John 
attempted her chastity, which she indignantly re- 
pelled ; " whereupon," says Stow, " and for other 
causes of the like sort, there ensued a war through- 
out the realm. The barons being received into 
London did great damage to the king ; but in the 
end the king did not only banish the said Fitz- 
walter, among others, out of the realm, but also 


caused his castle and other houses to be 
demolished. After that a messenger was sent to 
Matilda the Fair about the king's suit, but she 
not consenting to it, was poisoned." This was 
done at Dunmow, by sprinkling a deadly poison 
on a poached egg, which she ate. 

Her exiled father retired to France, and 
entered into the service of the king. In the year 
1214, John of England invaded France, and 
concluded a truce with the French for five years. 
The two armies lying on each side of a river one 
day, soon after the signing of the treaty, an 
English knight of great strength and valour came 
forth and challenged any French knight to a 
joust, when Fitz waiter crossed the river in 
acceptance thereof, and at the first course 
unhorsed his antagonist in gallant style. " By 
God's truth," exclaimed John, " he is a king 
indeed who is followed by such a knight as that !" 
" He is your own knight, O king," said one of 
his attendants, " Robert Fitzwalter whom you 
banished." Upon this the king sent for him to 
his tent, restored him to favour, gave him back 
his estates, and granted him permission to repair 
his castle and houses. 

The tyranny of the king, however, compelled 


the barons again to take up arms, to establish on 
a sure basis the laws and liberties granted by 
Edward the Confessor, of whom Fitzwalter 
became the head by the title of " Marshal of the 
Army of God and of the Church." Eventually 
they obtained the reluctant signature of the 
Magna Charta at Runnymede, when Fitzwalter 
was one of the twenty-five barons appointed to en- 
force the observance of the charter. In the reign 
of Henry III. he fought with great bravery under 
the baronial banner at the Battle of Lincoln, 
where he was taken prisoner, but was not 
detained long, as the next year he went as a 
crusader to the Holy Land, and displayed great 
valour at the siege of Damietta. 

Camden informs us that he instituted the 
custom of the flitch of bacon of Dunmow. He 
says : " On the Priory here " (Dunmow), " Robert 
Fitzwalter (a powerful baron in the time of 
Henry the Third) instituted a custom that 
whoever did not repent of his marriage, nor 
quarrelled with his wife within a year and a day, 
should go to Dunmow and have a gamon of 
bacon. But the party was to swear to the truth 
of it, kneeling upon two hard pointed stones 
set in the Priory churchyard for the purpose, 


before the prior, the convent, and the whole 

Sir Robert, Kt., his grandson, was summoned 
to Parliament by writ, 23rd Edward I. (1295) 
and died in 1325. In 1275 he alienated 
Barnard's Castle, by licence, to Robert 
Kilwardby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who 
removed hither the Dominican or Black Friars 
from Holborn, but took special care to reserve all 
the rights and official duties connected with his 

In the year 1303, before Sir J. Blount, Kt., 
Lord Mayor, a specification of his duties to the 
City was drawn out, which he swore upon the 
Evangelists to observe, and to the utmost of his 
power to maintain the rights and liberties of the 
citizens. His privileges and immunities in 
connection therewith are also given, which were 
confirmed by Sir John on the part of the 
Corporation. As this document presents some 
curious features of London life in the beginning 
of the 14th century, it is given below in extenso. 

The Rights that belonged to Robert Fitz- 
walter, Chastilion and Banner-Bearer of London 
and Lord of Wodeham. 

" The said Robert and his heirs ought to be 


and are chief Banner-bearers of London in and 
for the Castlry which he and his ancestors have 
of Baynard's Castle in the said City. In time of 
war the said Robert and his heirs ought to serve 
the City in manner hereinafter written. 

" That the said Robert ought to come upon 
his Horse of Service, with 20 men at arms, 
mounted, harnessed with mail or iron, even to 
the great door of the Minster of St. Paul, with a 
Banner of his Arms displayed before him. And 
when he has thus come, then ought the Lord Mayor 
of London, with the Sheriffs and Aldermen, come on 
foot out of the Minster to the said door, with his 
banner in his hand, and the banner ought to be 
gules, an image of St. Paul d'or, the feet, hands, 
and head, argent, with a sword argent, in the 
hand of the said Image. 

"And as soon as they shall have come forth, 
the said Robert shall alight from his horse and 
salute the Mayor, as his companion, saying, ' Sir 
Mayor, I am come to do my Service which I owe 
to the City,' and the Mayor shall answer, ' We 
allow you here as our Banner-Bearer, this banner 
of the City to carry and govern to your power, 
to the honour and profit of our City.' Then 
shall the said Robert take the banner in his 


hand, and the Mayor, Aldermen, and Sheriffs 
shall present him with a horse of 20 value, 
with a saddle, garnished with the arms of the 
said Robert, and covered with a sendal of the 
same arms, and deliver 20 to his Chamberlain 
for the charges of the day. 

" The said Robert shall then mount the horse, 
banner in hand, and desire the Mayor, forthwith, 
to cause a Marshall to be chosen out of the host 
of London, which being done, he shall then cause 
the signal to be sounded through the City, for 
the commons to assemble, and follow the banner 
carried by the said Robert to Aldgate, and a 
Council of two sage persons from each ward be 
chosen, in the Priory of the Holy Trinity, to 
look to the safe keeping of the City in case the 
said Robert should have to absent himself for the 
purposes of war. And if the said Robert with 
the army of London shall continue for the space 
of a year at the siege of any town or castle, he 
shall have 100 shillings from the commonalty of 
London, and no more. These are the rights of 
the said Robert in times of war ; in times of 
peace they are as follows : 

' That is to say, the said Robert shall have a 
soke or ward in the said City, viz., from the wall 


of the canonry of St. Paul, as a man goes by the 
Bracine (brew-house) of St. Paul to the Thames, 
and so to the side of the mill standing by the 
water that runs down by Fleet Bridge, and 
thence by the wall, round about the Friers 
preachers to Ludgate, and so return by the back 
of the said Fryers' House, to the corner of the 
said canons' walls of St. Paul. That is to say, all 
the parish of the church of St. Andrew, which is 
in his gift in right of his lordship. Apperidant 
to his soke he hath all these things under- 
written : 

"That he shall have a Soke-man of his own 
choice, provided he be of the Sokemannery of 
the Ward, and if any of the Sokemannery be 
impleaded at the Guildhall, his sokeman may 
demand a court of the said Robert, which shall be 
granted by the Mayor and Citizens. And if any 
thief be taken in his soke, he shall have stocks 
and prison in the soke and be taken hence to the 
Guildhall before the Mayor of judgment, but 
which shall not be pronounced until he is 
brought into the court of the said Robert and 
Franchise ; and if the judgment be death for 
treason he shall be tied to a post in the Thames 
for two tides, and if he be a common Larcin he 


shall be hanged at the Elms and there suffer his 
judgment, as other thieves. Also the said 
Robert and his heirs have a great honour in 
holding such a franchise in the said City, where 
the Mayor and Citizens ought to do him right, 
that is to say, that when the Mayor is minded to 
call a great council he shall call the said 
Robert or his heirs thereto, and he shall be 
sworn thereof against all people saving the king 
and his heirs. And when the said Robert 
cometh to the Hustings of the Guildhall of the 
said City, the Mayor or his Lieutenant shall 
arise against him and set him down near to him ; 
and so long as he is in the Guildhall all the 
judgments shall be pronounced by him, according 
to the records of the Recorders of the said 
Guildhall. And all the waifs which shall happen 
whilst he is there he shall give to the bailiffs of 
the City or to whomsoever he pleases, by advice 
of the Mayor of said City." 

Robert, second baron, died in 1328, three years 
after his father. 

Sir John, Kt., third baron, died in 1361, who 
was knighted for his bravery in war. 

Walter, fourth baron, died in 1386. In the 
44th Edward III., he was captured when 


fighting in Gascon y, and was obliged to mortgage 
one of his castles for 1,000 to raise money for 
his ransom. He held many other military 

Walter, fifth baron, died in 1407, having 
married Joane, sister and heiress of John, second 
Baron Devereux, who died in 1379, when the 
Baronies of Fitzwalter and Devereux became 
united, Walter Fitzwalter becoming Baron 
Devereux, jure uxoris, his heir succeeding in his 
own right. 

Humphrey, sixth baron, died s.p., a minor, in 
1422. Walter, his brother, seventh baron, was 
summoned from 1429 and died in 1432, the last 
of the line of the Fitzwalters. He fought under 
Henry V. in the French wars with great 
distinction, and for his services had a grant of 
lands in Normandy. His daughter and heiress, 
Elizabeth, conveyed the baronies by marriage to 
Sir John Radcliffe, Kt., an eminent military 
commander, who became Baron Fitzwalter, jure 
uxoris. Dying 39th Henry VI., he was 
succeeded by his son, Sir John, Kt., who was 
beheaded in 1495 for implication in the Perkin 
Warbeck Conspiracy, attainted, and the barony 
forfeited. Nevertheless, his son, Robert, finding 


favour at the court of Henry VII. was restored 
in blood and estates ; and in the 1st Henry VIII. 
to the forfeited barony. For bravery in the 
French Wars, and other services to the State, he 
was created Viscount Fitzwalter in 1529, and 
four years after further elevated in the peerage 
to the Earldom of Sussex, and was decorated 
with the order of the Garter. He was thrice 
married, having issue by all his wives, and died 
in 1542, w r hen he was succeeded by his eldest son, 
Sir Henry, K.B. and K.G., who died in 1556, 
from whom descended Sir Edward, sixth 
Viscount and Earl, who died, s.p., 1641, when 
these honours became extinct, the barony falling 
into abeyance, as it remained during the civil wars 
and after the Restoration, until 1669, when it 
was called out, in the person of Benjamin 
Mildmay, descended from Frances, second 
daughter of Sir Henry, second Earl of Sussex, 
who married Sir Thomas Mildmay, of Mulsho, 
Essex. He died in 1679, was succeeded by his 
eldest son Charles, who died 8. p. 1728, to whom 
followed his brother Henry, who in 1730 was 
created Viscount Harwich and Earl Fitzwalter ; 
but dying, in 1753, without surviving issue, the 
two latter titles became extinct, and the barony 


fell into abeyance, which was terminated in 1868, 
in the person of Sir Brook William Bridges, fifth 
baronet, who was called to the House of Peers as 
Baron Fitz waiter, of Woodham Walter, in the 
county of Essex, and who died in December, 
1875. Having thus disposed of the Barons, 
Viscounts, and Earls Fitzwalter, it becomes us to 
inquire into the subsequent history of the old 
Norman castle, which, flinging its shadow over 
the then silvery Thames, was the home of the 
Castellans of London. We have no record of 
what the Castle of Ralph Baynard was like, but 
may presume that it was in the usual Norman 
style, heavy and ungainly, and in its general 
features not unlike that given in Aggas's Map, 
temp. Elizabeth, as it appeared after its restora- 
tion in the 15th century. A view of it was 
published in 1780, and its site is indicated in the 
map of Baynard Castle Ward in Northouk's 
History of London. It appears to have been a 
huge, quadrangular block, the body presenting 
five gabled divisions, with sextangular corner 
towers, each division and the towers containing 
two lofty stories, with narrow slits for windows, 
and rooms in each gable. Little is known of the 
castle after its alienation to the Dominicans in 


1275, until the reign of Henry VL It appears 
to have come to the Crown, and was in the 
possession of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, 
fourth son of King Henry IY., to whom it had 
probably been granted by that king. In 1428 it 
was partially destroyed by fire, but was re-edified 
by the duke, who continued to reside within its 
walls until his death. Incurring the jealousy and 
hatred of Margaret of Anjou and her faction, the 
duke, who was arrested on a charge of high 
treason when attending the Parliament of St. 
Edmundsbury, 1446, at the instance of the queen 
was committed to prison, and there murdered by 
suffocation or strangulation, when the castle 
reverted to the Crown. 

In 1460 the Earl of Warwick defeated the 
Lancastrians at the second battle of St. Alban's, 
the result of which was a deputation to Edward, 
Earl of March, now Duke of York, and living in 
Baynard Castle, to request him to assume the 
Crown ; and it was from its portals that he went 
in procession to St. Paul's to hear the Te Deitm 
sung for the Yorkist Yictory, and hence to 
Westminster, to be vested in the mantle of 
Royalty, after which he summoned a great 
council of barons and ecclesiastics to Baynard 


Castle, to consult with them on the state of the 
realm. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was 
residing in Baynard Castle, after the murder of 
his nephews, when he was waited upon by the 
Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, for the 
purpose of requesting him to assume the Crown. 
Shakespeare delineates the scene with wonderfully 
graphic power in his drama of King Richard III., 
act 3, scene 7. 

King Henry VII. occupied the castle as a 
place of residence some three or four years ; and 
Henry VIII. expended large sums of money in 
repairs and embellishment, and entertained there 
the King of Castile, but appears to have granted 
it to the Earl of Pembroke, a gentleman of the 
bedchamber, who had married Anne, sister of 
Queen Katherine Parr. On the death of 
Edward VI. he favoured the pretensions of Lady 
Jane Grey to the Crown, but almost immediately 
changed his opinion ; and in his City castle a 
council was held, where it was determined that 
Mary, King Edward's sister, should succeed, and 
she was at once proclaimed Queen at Cheapside 
Cross. In the reign of Elizabeth it appears to 
have been occupied by Sir John Fortescue, 
master of the wardrobe, close by, and the Queen 


is said to have supped there occasionally. It 
afterwards became the town residence of the 
Earls of Shrewsbury, coming to that family, 
probably, through the marriage of John, the 
tenth earl, with Mary, daughter of Sir Francis 
Fortescue, and so remained until the Great Fire 
of 1666, when the venerable old castle, which had 
witnessed so many important and tragical events 
connected with the City of which it was the 
guardian, was finally, and for ever, destroyed, not 
a vestige now remaining. 

Sir micbolas Brcmber, Iknigbt, Xorb 
of Xonfcon. ' 

EDWARD III. was one of the greatest of 
English kings, and the progenitor, by 
Philippa of Hainault, of a family of stalwart sons, 
brave warriors and able statesmen, whose names 
will long live in the annals of England and the 
poetry of romance. They were Edward the 
Black Prince, the hero of Creci and Poictiers ; 
Lionel, Duke of Clarence ; John of Gaunt, 
"time-honoured Lancaster," titular king of 
Castile, father of King Henry IV. and of two 
queens, and the most conspicuous figure in the 
pages of Froissart ; and Thomas, Duke of 
Gloucester, the most persistent opponent of his 
nephew, King Richard, and his government by 

Unfortunate was it for England that the 
Prince of Wales died prematurely, and 
equally unfortunate was it that he left be- 
hind him a son, by the quondam " fair maid 
of Kent," who succeeded to the throne of his 
grandfather as Richard II. at eleven years of 


age, A.D. 1377. In his nonage a council was 
appointed for the government of the realm, from 
which all his uncles, the best fitted by affinity 
and great abilities for the office, were excluded ; 
a measure which gave rise to jealousy and 
antagonism on their part to his government, with 
disastrous results to the king's favourites, and 
ultimately to the king himself. Richard was 
spoilt by adulation and flattery, and became the 
tool of intriguers : never displaying much 
ability, caring more for the display of his 
grandeur than for the good government of his 
people ; desiring to rule absolutely, but lacking 
the power; impetuous, fierce, revengeful, and 
weak-minded, and attempting to accomplish by 
crooked ways what would have been better 
carried out by straightforward measures. His 
chief favourites were Robert de Vere, ninth Earl 
of Oxford, created Marquis of Dublin in 1336, 
and Duke of Ireland the following year ; Michael 
de la Pole, a Hull merchant, created Baron de la 
Pole 1366 and Earl of Suftblk 1385 ; Alexander 
Xevill (a younger son of Ralph, second Baron 
Nevill), Archbishop of York: Sir Robert 
Tresilian, Chief Justice ; and Sir Nicholas 
Brember, Knight, alderman of London, 


Sir Nicholas was a merchant of London of 
considerable wealth and influence. He is styled 
by Froissart, " King's Draper," but seems rather 
to have been a wholesale merchant. Towards 
the end of the reign of Edward III. the ancient 
trade-guilds, crafts and mysteries which had 
hitherto been confined, each to one special trade, 
were reconstructed as Livery Companies, by 
charter, and endowed with certain privileges and 
immunities ; as the means of developing 

From Rot Parl. ii. 278, it appears that at this 
period, certain wholesale merchants established 
the " Grossers' Company," which threatened to 
ruin some of the smaller crafts. In a petition, 36 
Edward III., it is stated that " great mischief had 
arisen, as well to the king, as to the great men 
and commons, from the merchants called Grossers, 
who engrossed all manner of merchandize 
vendible, and who suddenly raised the price of 
such merchandize within the realm, putting to 
sale, by covin and by ordinances, made by them- 
selves, and keeping goods in store till times of 
dearth, etc.," suggesting as a remedy that these 
merchants should not be permitted to deal in 
more than one class of these commodities; and 


an Act based upon this suggestion was passed 37 
Edward III. Although Brember was one of the 
original members of this monopolizing company, 
he enforced the penalties provided by the Act 
with great strictness, as. when he was Lord 
Mayor in 1385, he disfranchised several freemen 
for carrying on trades other than their own. 

At this time the aldermen were elected 
annually until 17 Richard II.. when they were 
chosen for life, or during good behaviour. 
Brember, who had been elected several years in 
succession, served the office of sheriff in 1372. 
and that of Lord Mayor not less than four times 
in the years 1377, 1383, 1384, and 1385, being 
the first alderman who held the office in two 
consecutive years. This, however, was not by 
the goodwill of the freemen, but in opposition of 
their wishes, the citizens being favourers of the 
Duke of Gloucester, and disliking Brember as 
one of the evil counsellors of the king. In the 
Chronicle of London, printed 1827, from a MS. 
in the British Museum, is the following passage : 
"Also this yere Sr. Xicholl Brembre was 
chosen Maire agene be the saide craftes, and by 
men of the contre at Harrow and the contre 
there aboughte, and not be fre eleccion of the 


citee of London, as it owith to be ; and the olde 
halle was stuffed with men at armes overe even 
be ordinaunce and assente of Sr Nicholl Brember 
fur to chose hym maire on the morrowe, and so 
he was." This interference with the rights of 
free election was not allowed to pass without 
remonstrance. " The folke of the Mercerye " 
made it the subject of a petition to the 
King, in which they stated that " Though 
the eleccion of mairelte was to be to the fremen 
of the citee bi gode and paisable avys of the 
wysest and trewest, at a day in the yere, frelich," 
(free) " Nichol Brembre wyth his upberers, had 
through debate and stronger party e and carrying 
grete quantities of armure to the Guyldehall," 
overawed the citizens and procured his re-election, 
adding that they of the Mercery or other crafts 
protested against the election as illegal, " they 
were anon apeched for arrysers ageins the pees " 
(impeached as the disturbers of the peace). 
Although Brember's election was not set aside, 
this and other remonstrances led to certain 
reforms in the Corporation. 

In 1381 the memorable meeting between King 
Richard and the Kentish rebels took place in 
Smithfield, when their leader, Wat Tyler, was 


stabbed by Lord Mayor Wai worth, and when the 
boy king, by a bold and masterly act, appeased 
the mob, who were preparing to avenge the 
death of their captain. Speed informs us that 
Walworth, after the fall of Tyler, rushed into the 
City and returned accompanied by Sir Robert 
Knowles and a thousand citizens in armour, when 
he " commanded the head of Wat Tyler to be 
chopt of from his dead carcase and borne 
before him on a speare to the king." Froissart 
says, "among the first" (from the City) "came 
Sir Robert Knolles and Sir Perducas d'Albret 
well attended, then several aldermen, with 
upwards of 600 men at arms, and a powerful man 
of the City, by name Nicholas Brember, the 
king's draper, bringing with him a large force on 
foot." After the dispersion of the mob with 
ample promises of a redress of their grievances, 
the king knighted Walworth, and gave him a fee 
farm worth 100 per annum, as he did also 
Aldermen Brember, Philpot, Laund, Standish, 
Twiford, and Traver, granting to each a fee farm 
of 40 per annum. Thomas of Woodstock, the 
king's youngest uncle, created Duke of Gloucester, 
1385, was the most vehement opponent of his 
nephew's policy, and the favourites Vere, Pole, 


and Brember, perceiving him to be the greatest 
obstacle to their assumption of the supreme 
direction of affairs conspired to remove him. 
The}'- arranged that he should be invited to a 
supper in Brember's house, and whilst there 
should be assassinated. It was, however, 
necessary that the invitation should be sent 
through Lord Mayor Exton, " who," says 
Maitland, " was no sooner acquainted with this 
wicked design than he received it with the 
utmost abhorrence and detestation, and boldly 
declared that he would never consent to so 
flagitious an act of villainy," and forthwith gave 
information to the duke, who took measures for 
his safety, and resolved upon the destruction of 
the conspirators, in which he was backed by the 
citizens of London, who suggested that he should 
assume the government of the country, hinting 
that they would be ready to give him support. 
This, however, was not a practicable scheme, for 
even if York and Lancaster should approve of 
the deposition of Richard, they, as elder brothers, 
would have prior claims to the succession. 

The question was brought before the Parlia- 
ment of 1386, which met at Westminster, when 
a council of eleven, with Gloucester at the head, 


was appointed to govern the kingdom under the 
king, who was required to dismiss Pole, his 
chancellor, and the rest of his favourites, which 
he promised to do, but as soon as Parliament 
broke up he carried them with him into the west 
of England to devise measures for opposing the 
confederacy. They resolved to take up arms 
against the duke, and, as a preliminary, called a 
council of the judges at Nottingham, who, under 
compulsion, declared the acts of the Parliament 
invalid, and those who passed them traitors. 
Whilst at Bristol the king sent Pole, Brember, 
and Sir Peter Gouloufre to London for intelli- 
gence, where they had an interview with the 
governor of the Tower, who told them that they 
ran great risk in coming there. " Ho\v so," they 
inquired ; " we are the king's knights, and have a 
right of entry into his palaces?" The governor 
replied " that it was true the Tower belonged 
to the king, and that he would be obedient to 
him, but could no further than when his orders 
were not in contravention to the will of the 
council and the Duke of Gloucester ; and (added 
he) I tell you for your welfare that you had 
better depart, for if it become known that you 
are here, the Tower will be besieged by the 


citizens, and you will be torn to pieces." Upon 
hearing this they departed, not caring to brave 
the fury of a London mob, returned to 
Kensington, mounted their horses, and rode back 
to the king. 

Meanwhile Gloucester and his nephew, the 
Earl of Derby, afterwards King Henry IV., 
finding that none but the most decided measures 
would prevail with the king, raised an army of 
40,000 men, with which they marched towards 
London not with the object of dethroning the 
king, but to uphold the council and destroy the 
power of the favourites. Richard, who was not 
deficient in boldness, came to London, and it was 
reported that Brember and Sir Thomas Trivet 
accompanied him with a thousand armed men, 
who were secretly placed in the mews at Charing 
Cross, with the view of killing the most obnoxious 
of the king's enemies as they passed from London 
to Westminster. 

Richard kept state in Westminster Hall, and 
when he was informed of the rumours relative to 
Brember and his thousand men, swore solemnly 
that he knew nothing about them, but contrived to 
get them away and join De Vere in the West, who 
was raising an army in Wales in the king's service. 


When the lords presented themselves before 
the king, the Bishop of Ely, the new Lord 
Chancellor, asked them why they were assembled 
in warlike array at Haringey Park, to whom 
they replied, " For the good of the king and the 
kingdom, and to weed out the traitors by whom 
he is surrounded." On being asked to name the 
traitors, they answered, " Robert de Vere, Duke 
of Ireland ; Alex. Nevill, Archbishop of York : 
Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk ; Sir Robert 
Tresilian, that false Justicier ; and Sir Nicholas 
Brember, that false knight of London ;" and then 
threw down the gage of challenge. The king, 
having sent his favourites out of immediate harm's 
way, rated the lords soundly for presuming to 
take up arms against his supreme will and 
authority. " You," said he, " whom I could kill 
like cattle, and whom I esteem no more than the 
basest scullion in my kitchen !" yet he eventually 
promised that the matter should be taken into 
consideration by the Parliament, which would 
assemble at Westminster on the morrow after 

A proclamation was soon after issued by 
Richard, forbidding any one, under pain of death, 
to supply arms, ammunition, or provisions to the 


rebel army, and he sent word to De Vere to 
hasten his muster of men, and inarch towards 
London to put down the rebellion. Simul- 
taneously with the proclamation, the confederates 
sent a letter to the Corporation of London, 
soliciting their sympathy and aid, which was 
immediately responded to with assurances of both. 

The Duke of Ireland, with his Welsh army, 
marched eastward and came to Oxford, when he 
heard that the Dukes of Gloucester and York 
and Lord Mayor Exton were coming to meet 
him, and were not far distant, having crossed the 
Thames by Reading Bridge those of Staines 
and Windsor having been broken down by 
direction of de Vere. He had been appointed 
Lieut. -General of the king's forces, with Suffolk 
and Brember in command under him ; but on 
hearing this intelligence he became terribly 
alarmed. He called a council of war, and it was 
decided that they must give battle to the enemy ; 
but it was also arranged that they De Vere, De 
la Pole, and Brember should station themselves 
on fleet horses in the wings of the army, so that 
if the day went against them, they might save 
themselves by flight. 

Soon afterwards the army of Gloucester made 


its appearance, and the King's Welshmen, panic 
stricken, threw down their arms, and took to 
flight in disorder. Their leaders followed or set 
the example and escaped to Wales, and hence 
De Vere, De la Pole, and the Archbishop gained 
the Continent by way of Scotland, the Duke of 
Ireland dying an exile in Holland, Suffolk in 
France, and Xevill as a parish priest in Flanders. 
With respect to the others. Froissart says : 
" Brember was arrested in Wales, brought to 
London, and beheaded :" Speed : " Sir X. 
Brember and others were aprehended. and kept 
in straight prison to answere such accusations 
(which if meere calumniations) as in the next 
Parliament at Westminster, should be objected. 
Parliament met at Candlemas : Tresiliaii had 
sentence to be drawn to Tyburne in the 
afternoone. and there to have his throat cut, 
which was done accordingly. This Bramber" 
(saith Walsingham) " was saide to have imagined 
to bee made Duke of Xew Trove (the olde 
supposed name of London), by murthering 
thousands of such citizens (whose names he had 
billed for that purpose) as were of such likelihood 
to oppose him." Maitland says, "Soon after 
Nicholas Brember, late Lord Mavor of London, 


one of the wicked favourites of .Richard, was con- 
demned by Parliament for High Treason, for which 
he was adjudged to be drawn and hanged, which 
was accordingly executed upon him at Tyburn, and 
not according to that idle story mentioned by 
Holingshed, Stow, and others, of his being 
beheaded with an ax, which he had prepared for 
the execution of all such as opposed his measures. 
If this perfidious and cruel man and his accom- 
plices had succeeded in their wicked schemes he 
was to have been made Duke of New Troye, as 
London is denominated by the fabulous Geoffrey 
of Monmouth." 

Brember was buried iii Christ Church, 
Newgate Street. His arms are emblazoned in 
the Hall of the Grocers' Company. 

Hn Qlbcn ime 36isbop of Xonbon: 
IRobert be Bra\>broofce. 

IN the pleasant Northamptonshire village of 
Braybrooke, on the verge of a forest, and 
near the Leicestershire border, there was born, 
some five-and-a-half centuries ago, a child who 
was destined to pass his name down to posterity 
in the annals of London. 

In the earlier portion of the thirteenth century, 
Robert May, otherwise de Braybrooke, a 
favourite of King John, and landed proprietor in 
Braybrooke, built a castle on his estates for his 
residence. His eldest son, Henry, married 
Christian Ledlet, a great heiress, and assumed 
the name of Ledlet. The estates passed by 
marriage to the Griffin family, who were created 
Barons de Braybrooke, 1688, the barony 
expiring for lack of male heirs, 1742 ; but the 
heiress married William Whitwell, whose son 
assumed the name of Griffin and was created 
Baron Braybrooke, 1788, with limitation to his 
nephew, Richard Neville Aldworth, who 


succeeded to the barony, and assumed the name 
of Neville in addition to and after Aldworth, from 
whom is descended the extant Baron Braybrooke. 
Henry de Braybrooke, probably . the son of 
Robert, was a "justice itinerant" in county 
Beds, and was dragged from the bench at 
Dunstable by the Norman Falcasius who held 
Bedford Castle for the King against the barons 
and cast into a dungeon of the castle for having 
given adverse judgments in thirty- five law suits 
which had been instituted by Falcasius. 

The boy Robert was probably born in the 
castle, and educated in the little monastery in the 
forest hard by, or possibly in the more distant 
great abbey of Medehamsted (Peterborough), and 
in his youthful wanderings would doubtless some- 
times visit the neighbouring town of Lutter- 
worth, where Wyclif, the leader of the Lollards, 
Braybrooke's victims, was afterwards to pass 
away from this world. 

After his preliminary studies he went to 
Oxford, where he became a licentiate of civil law, 
and took Holy Orders. 

His very first act after ordination displays his 
character as a determined supporter of Papal 
supremacy, and at the same time demonstrates 


the influence of his family. In spite of the 
statute of provisors, recently passed, and of 
preemunire, he obtained a provision from the 
Pope for induction into the living of Hinton, in 
Cambridgeshire, the patronage being vested in 
the Fellows of Peterhouse ; and notwithstanding 
the penalties attaching to the offence, obtained 
the living in 1360, and held it nineteen years. 
In 1366, he was nominated Prebendary of 
Fenton, in York Cathedral, which he exchanged 
for that of Friday Thorpe in the same cathedral. 
1376, and the same year was appointed Archdeacon 
of Cornwall, and Prebendary of Wells. In 
1380, he was constituted Dean of Salisbury, and 
a few months after exchanged his archdeaconry 
for the rectory of Bideford, resigning at the same 
time the rectory of Hinton. The following year, 
by virtue of a Bull of Pope Urban VI., he was 
appointed sixty-third Bishop of London, 
succeeding Courtney, who had been translated 
to Canterbury in place of Archbishop Sudbury, 
who had been beheaded on Tower Hill three 
months before by the Wat Tyler insurgents. 

Braybrooke lived in one of the most important 
periods in the annals of England a transition 
period when the religious, political, and 


intellectual systems of the country were ex- 
periencing earthquake-throes, essential in working- 
out that liberty and social civilization which we 
now enjoy. 

In the early portion of his life, the 
throne was occupied by "the greatest of the 
Plantagenets ;" in his middle life, by one of the 
weakest ; and the latter portion witnessed that 
change of dynasty which resulted in the Wars of 
the Roses, sweeping off vast numbers of the 
Norman lords, and leaving England more Saxon 
than it had been since the Conquest. In the 
century preceding his birth the feudal barons had 
been struggling with John and Henry III. 
against oppressive inonarchial prerogative ; had 
wrested from John the Magna Charta ; and 
under the leading of Simon de Montfort, had in 
the latter reign summoned the first representative 
Parliament. And now the mass of the people 
who had remained serfs, mere chattels, who could be 
bought and sold like cattle rose under Wat 
Tyler and Jack Straw to assert their rights, 
proclaiming that all men were by nature equally 
free, and demanding the abolition of serfdom, the 
abrogation of unjust and oppressive laws, open 
markets, etc., adopting as their motto, 


- When Adam delved, and Ere span, 
Who was then the gentleman ?" 

Their demands eventuated in certain 
concessions ; but it was not until the Stuarts, by 
their exaggerated notions of kingly prerogative, 
had precipitated rebellion, that the liberties of 
England were established on a sure foundation by 
the victories of Cromwell It was the period, 
too, of the commencement of the struggle with 
Rome for liberty of conscience. Xever had 
England sunk so low in degradation as in 1213. 
when John, after boldly defying the Pope, found 
himself compelled to lay his crown at the feet of 
Pandulph. But now, " the morning star of the 
Reformation ; ' was, by voice and pen, awakening 
the people to a consciousness of their slavery to a 
foreign priest, proclaiming that the Scriptures 
were the only rule of faith, and asserting the 
right of private judgment. Under the 
vigorous rule of the third Edward, the authority 
of the Pope in the realm was materially curbed, 
and enactments made declaring John's submission 
illegal, lacking, as it did, the assent of the 
representatives of the people, and making it penal 
to publish bulls, or any other Papal instruments, in 
the kingdom without the consent of Parliament. 


Nevertheless the Lollards were looked upon 
as heretics by the authorities of the Church, and 
in 1377, Wyclif was cited to appear before the 
Primate and Bishop Courtnay in St. Paul's 
Cathedral. He went thither accompanied by his 
patrons, John of Gaunt and the Earl Marshal 
(Lord Henry Percy), when the latter, in 
consideration of the age and feebleness of the 
venerable reformer, 'desired him to be seated, 
" which," says Foxe, " eftsoons cast the Bishop of 
London into a furious chafe," which resulted in 
an altercation, the abrupt breaking up of the 
assembly, and the rush of the London mob, with 
whom the Duke of Lancaster was not then 
popular, to his palace of the Savoy, where they 
murdered a priest, but were dispersed by the 
Lord Mayor. 

After the murder of Archbishop Sudbury and 
the elevation of Courtnay to the primacy, he 
called a synod together at the House of the 
Preaching Friars, London, at which the new 
bishop (Braybrooke) attended. Soon after their 
assembling, a shock of an earthquake occurred, 
which alarmed the ecclesiastics, but Courtnay 
adroitly turned it to account, saying that 
earthquakes were but the expulsion of noxious 


vapours from the earth, and it was a sign that 
Heaven looked with approval on their efforts to 
expel noxious doctrines from the Church, and the 
meeting very speedily pronounced fourteen of 
Wyclif s tenets erroneous or heretical. 

This was, however, but the seed-time of 
religious liberty ; the seeds, nevertheless, in spite 
of opposition, fructified under Henry VIII. and 
his daughter Elizabeth, grew apace under the 
Commonwealth, and the harvest was reaped after 
the expulsion of the second James. 

Intellectually, too, Braybrooke was the 
contemporary of the transition from ignorance to 
learning. Chaucer, in his Canterbury Pilgrims, 
and Gower in his Confessio Amantis, were laying 
the foundation of our modern language and 
literature ; and Faust, Gutenberg, and Schceffer 
were establishing their printing presses in 
Germany, to be introduced into England by 
Caxton in the next century, to aid in the 
diffusion of knowledge, and in the liberation 
of the people from political and spiritual 

When Braybrooke, half a millennium ago, was 
elevated to the episcopal bench, London was 
a comparatively small city, encircled by two 


miles of walls, gates, and ditch, with but one 
bridge over the Thames that built by Peter of 
Colechurch, with its movable centre for the 
passage of vessels. The Tower was the Court 

r c 

and king's residence ; with Baynard's Castle, in 
Thames Street ; the magnificent Palace of the 
Savoy, the Monastery of the Knights Hospitallers, 
in Clerkenwell, and many another noble edifice 
lay in ruins, demolished by the Wat Tyler 
insurgents ; the city was crowded with monas- 
teries and churches ; and the streets presented a 
mingled crowd of nobles, monks, friars, priests, 
and merchant burghers. 

His cathedral was that which had risen on the 
ruins of the one destroyed by fire in the reign of 
the Conqueror, which had been 200 years in 
course of erection, and now stood forth a grand 
building, covering four acres of ground, with its 
Norman nave, two transepts, its pointed Gothic 
choir, its spire, 510 feet in height, and its 
beautiful Ladye Chapel, majestic in its magnitude, 
and beautiful in some of its details ; with St. 
Paul's cross outside, where, every Sunday, some 
eloquent friar or priest addressed the citizens ; 
and where many a memorable political sermon has 
been preached. On the northern side, near 


Warwick Lane, stood his residence, the Bishop's 
palace, described as being " a stately and spacious 

Internally he found the ecclesiastics in a lax 
state of discipline, and " the house of God a den 
of thieves." The cathedral was devoted more to 
secular than to religious uses. " The south alley 
for usury, the north for simony, and a horse fair 
in the midst, for all kinds of bargains, meetings, 
brawlings, murthers, and conspiracies ; and the 
font for the payment of money ;" which were 
associated with the shooting of arrows, ball 
playing, and deeds even more reprehensible than 
these. These abuses he set himself to correct, 
and effected a great reformation. The sacred 
edifice was also a sort of theatre, where mystery 
and miracle plays were performed, the stage 
consisting of three platforms, the upper repre- 
senting the Creator, surrounded by angels ; the 
second occupied by apostles, saints, and martyrs ; 
and the lower presenting the mouth of hell, 
vomiting flames and smoke, and resounding with 
the shrieks of the lost. But it pleased the taste 
of the age that the monarch of the nether regions 
should correspond with the clown of the modern 
pantomime ; and in the midst of solemn passages, 


the devil, with a troupe of his imps, would issue 
forth, to perform all sorts of antics, and regale 
the ears of the audience with drolleries, filth, 
and what would now be considered blasphemy. 
With these representations the bishop did not 
interfere, considering them the only mode of 
appealing to the hearts and consciences of the 
ignorant multitude ; unless, indeed, he sanctioned 
the petition of St. Paul's Players to Richard II., 
to prohibit ignorant and inexperienced persons 
from "acting the History of the Old Testament 
to the prejudice of the clergy of the Church." 
A favourite device of these plays was the 
descent of a white dove from an aperture of 
the roof, with the swinging of censers, to 
represent the descent of the Third Person in the 

On the surrender of the chancellorship by Sir 
Richard Scrope, 1382, "Robert Braybrooke, 
Bishopp of London," says Speed, " was made 
chancellor in his place. This act of the King's 
was displeasant to the whole realme, and one of 
the first things by which hee fell into dislike, it 
being among the infelicities of King Richard that 
those times were too full of sower and impatient 
censors for a Prince of so calme a temper, and as 


yet unseasoned in yeares, but hee onely held the 
office a yeare." 

Thedistinguishing characteristic of Braybrooke's 
career was his unrelenting persecution of the 
Lollards. It was enacted, 5 Richard II., that 
any person preaching against the Catholic Faith 
should be imprisoned until he could "justify 
himself;" and 2 Henry IV. that all persons 
" suspected " of heresy should be imprisoned until 
they were " canonically purged," or until they 
abjured their errors, and that if they persisted in 
their heresy they should be delivered to the 
secular arm and " burnt to death before the 
people." Toleration was a word not known in 
that age. The oppressed ever cried out for 
liberty of conscience, whether Romanist or 
Reformer, but when they became the dominant 
power they were alike intolerant ; and the 
cruelties of the bishop to the Lollards must be 
ascribed to the spirit of the age, backed by his 
own intense conviction that the Romanist was 
the one "sole Apostolic Church," and that to 
destroy the enemies who were beleaguering her 
was doing a service to God. 

The bishop appears to have always been on 
friendly terms with the citizens of London, and 


was, with the Duke of Gloucester, instrumental 
in the reconciliation of King Richard and the 
Corporation after their serious quarrel about a 
loan of 1,000, afterwards heading a procession 
of 400 citizens on horseback to tender their 
submission, on which occasion a fountain of wine 
was set playing at the door of the cathedral, and 
the streets presented an animated spectacle, with 
streaming banners and tapestries hanging in 
front of the houses, the whole enlivened with 
instrumental music. 

Notwithstanding his conservative sentiments, 
he welcomed the landing of Bolingbrooke, 
assisted actively in the deposition of Richard, 
was one of the signers of the document consigning 
him to perpetual imprisonment, which meant 
death, within the walls of " bloody Pomfret," and 
crowned the usurper ; afterwards conducting a 
service in St. Paul's, at which King Henry was 
present, when the corpse of the murdered 
Richard was exposed there, to certify to the 
citizens that he was really dead, and obviate the 
possibility of revolts in his name. 

Bishop Braybrooke died in the year 14Q4 (his 
epitaph says 1405), and he was buried in the Ladye 
Chapel of his cathedral, under "a faire marble 


stone inlaide with letters made every one of a 
several piece of brasse. " Two-and-a-half centuries 
after his burial the cathedral was destroyed in 
the great fire of London, and on the removal of 
the rubbish for the rebuilding the tomb was 
found open, with the slab broken. " The body," 
as Camden states, " was found entire, the skin 
still inclosing the bones and fleshy parts ; only in 
the breast there was a hole (made, I suppose, by 
accident) through which one might view and 
handle his lungs. The skin was of deep tawny 
colour and the body very light, as appeared to 
all who came to view and touch it, it being 
exposed in a coffin for some time without any 
offensive smell : and then reinterred." 

a Brave Ifc Xonfcon Bisbop: 

AT the period when this prelate lived, 
England was struggling to free itself from 
the shackles of its Norman and Angevin rulers. 
The feudal system had been introduced at the 
Conquest, which constituted the king the absolute 
master of the land ; the barons were his vassals, 
holding their lands by tenures of military service, 
and the great mass of the people were either 
vassals of the barons, holding portions of land by 
knight's service, or were mere serfs, excepting 
some merchants and traders in the cities and 
towns, who enjoyed a modified species of freedom, 
for which special charters were granted by kings. 
The citizens of London have ever been famous for 
the bold and resolute way in which they have 
preserved and defended the liberties and 
immunities granted in such charters, and when 
Basset became their bishop they gladly welcomed 
him as one who would not be backward in lending 
them his countenance and assistance in any 
attempted invasion of their chartered rights. 


Beyond this permissive freedom, however, they 
aimed at something further ; the notion that 
kings were not the masters, but the servants, of 
the sovereign people had been bruited abroad, 
and the initiative had been taken by the barons, 
who revolted against the tyranny of John, and 
extorted from him the Magna Charta, in which 
they were backed by the Londoners and the 
merchants of other large towns ; but the peasan- 
try and labourers were too much down-trodden in 
serfdom to make any assertion of their natural 
rights, and it was not until more than a century 
afterwards that they, under Wat Tyler, Jack 
Cade, and other leaders, began to put forth the 
strange notion that they also were men with 
natural rights, which they ceased not to reiterate, 
until a couple of centuries afterwards they 
established their claims at Marston Moor and 
Naseby and Worcester. 

Thurstan 'Basset came to England at the 
Conquest, whose descendant Ralph (temp. Henry 
II.,) by his great abilities raised the family to 
distinction and wealth, and was the author of 
many salutary laws, notably that of Frank 
Pledge. From him issued three baronies by writ, 
those of Basset of Sapcoate, 1264-1378 ; Basset 


ofDrayton, 1264, in abeyance 1390; and Basset 
of Welden, 1299-1410. 

Thomas, his second son, was founder of the 
Wycombe branch, whose eldest son, Gilbert, had 
issue by Egeline, daughter of Courtney, three 
sons Gilbert, Fulco, and Philip all of whom 
succeeded to the paternal estates, one after the 

Fulco was born at the end of the 12th century, 
was brought up to the Church, and became 
Provost of Beverley, 1206-1238 ; Rector of 
Cottesbrook, Northants, which he resigned, 1239 ; 
Dean of York, 1239-1242 ; Bishop of London, 
1241-1258, but not consecrated until 1244, in 
consequence of a vacancy in the See of 
Canterbury. He died of the plague, 1258, and 
was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. 

In the year 1250, he had a warm altercation 
with the Archbishop of Canterbury, relative to 
metropolitical visitation, to which the archbishop 
had an undoubted right, but which Basset denied. 
" Comming to London, Boniface (the archbishop) 
tooke a small occasion to defoce the bishop with 
fowle and reprochfull speeches, and being resisted 
by the Dean and Chapter of Paules (who had 
appealed from his visitation to the Pope), he 


made no more adoo but excommunicated them 
every one." The next day he proceeded to 
the priory of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, 
telling the sub-prior and monks, who came in 
their copes to meet him, that he had come to 
visit them, who replied very respectfully that 
"they knew their bishop (whose only office it 
was) to be a very sufficient man in his 
place," and that, " although they were sorry to 
disappoint him, they could not recognise any 
other." "This answere so enraged this lusty 
Archbishop, as not being able to containe his anger 
within any bounds of discretion, he ranne 
violently to the Sub Prior, strucke the poore old 
man downe to the ground, kicked him, beate him 
and buffeted him pitifully, tore his coape from his 
backe, rent it into a number of pieces, and when 
he had so done stamped upon it like a maddc 
man." His followers also fell upon the monks, 
and a general fight took place ; but the Lon- 
doners hearing of the fray took up cudgels in 
behalf of their bishop and prior, when the 
archbishop took to flight, and got safely across the 
ferry to Lambeth. " If they (the Londoners) 
could have met with him, they would surely have 
he wen him into a thousand peeces." As soon as 


he got home he excommunicated the whole of the 
inmates of the priory, and along with them 
Bishop Basset. Appeals on both sides were 
made to Rome, the Dean of St Paul's going 
thither, followed by the archbishop. A great 
deal of bribery took place, the Pope pocketing 
the proceeds from both parties alike, and delaying 
his decision in order to exact more money, which 
seems not to have been spared. At length he 
gave judgment that the archbishop had the 
right of visitation all through his province, but 
for the unseemly brawling and fighting in 
Smithfield he condemned him to rebuild, at his 
own cost, Lambeth Palace, which was then in a 
dilapidated condition. 

Although he was ever zealous and earnest in his 
defence of the people against kingly and priestly 
tyranny, and supported the barons in this and 
the preceding reign, it was in his old age, when 
verging upon the grave, that Basset especially 
made a display of that bravery and sturdy 
English love of freedom and hatred of oppression 
which entitles him to the designation at the head 
of this chapter. 

King Henry and the Pope had conspired 
together to levy a tax on the English clergy, and 


share the plunder. Rustand, the Pope's legate, 
with this view, convoked a meeting of the clergy 
of London, and made his demand in the name 
of the Pope. Basset rose and replied, in 
unmeasured terms, on the illegality and oppressive 
nature of the exaction, finishing by saying that 
rather than submit to so intolerable a demand 
he would lose his head, and in this he was backed 
by his clergy, who passed an unanimous resolution 
to ignore any such claim altogether. The legate 
laid his complaint before the king, who sent for 
the bishop, abused him with vile and menacing 
language, and threatened him with deprivation 
and Papal censure. Basset listened meekly to 
all the king had to say, but when he left his 
presence he said to those who he knew would 
carry it to the king, " He may remove my mitre, 
if it so pleases him, but he will find a helmet 
beneath it, and he may take away my crosier, but 
that is easily replaced with a sword." 

M. Paris says of him, " He was a noble and 
honourable man, and, excepting his last slip, the 
anchor of the whole kingdom, and the shield of 
stability and defence. 1 * Weever also says, "As 
he was a man of great lineage, and also of ample 
both temporal and ecclesiastical possessions, 


so was he a prelate of an invincible, high spirit ; 
stout and courageous to resist those insupportable 
exactions which the Pope's legate, Rustandus, 
went about to lay upon the clergie." 

In the year 1256 he commenced the erection 
of the church of St. Faith, under St. Paul's 
cathedral, founded a charity in St. Paul's for the 
repose of his soul, and bequeathed to the 
cathedral a golden apple, two carved chests for 
relics, some vestments, and a few manuscripts. 

an 0U> lonton Biarist 

IX the sixteenth century there dwelt in the 
parish of Holy Trinity the Less, Queenhithe, 
a worthy and honest citizen, one Henry Machyn. 
a member of the Merchant Taylors' Company. 
He was born about the period of the accession of 
Henry VIIL, and lived until after the accession 
of Elizabeth, dying, it is presumed, in 1563, of the 
plague which visited London in that year, when 
his diary comes to an abrupt conclusion. 

The age in which he lived was a most 
important period, that of the transition from 
Popery to Protestantism, accompanied by the 
discords, troubles, evil passions, and cruelties 
incidental to transitional epochs. During his life, 
he witnessed not less than three changes in the 
national faith : First, the rejection of the Papal 
supremacy, the suppression of monasteries, and 
the establishment of the reformed religion under 
Henry VIII. ; secondly, a return to the old Papal 
allegiance and faith at the accession of Mary: 
and thirdly, the final downfall of Popery, under 


Elizabeth. Our diarist, although, like the Vicar 
of Bray, he Seems to have accommodated his 
conscience to the prevailing religion, evidently 
had a leaning towards the old faith, which 
is manifested by the gusto with which he 
describes the Church ceremonies and regal 
pageants of Mary's reign, and the " sarve them 
right" sort of style in which he records the 
pillorying, whipping at cart-tails, and lopping off 
the ears of utterers of " haynous wordes aganst 
the Queen's magesty," as compared with the 
somewhat despondent tone of the entries after 
the accession of Elizabeth. 

It would appear, although not stated, that he 
was a purveyor of trappings for pageants and 
funerals, heraldic painter, and undertaker in 
general ; his place of business was near to the 
Painterstainers' Hall and the College of Arms ; 
and it is supposed that he kept several workmen 
employed in emblazoning flags, pennons, 
escutcheons, etc., for public processions and 

The diary at the beginning appears to have 
been nothing more than a trade record, consisting 
almost entirely of notices of funerals and the 
pomp thereof, most probably those which he 


conducted himself. Afterwards he notices other 
pageants Lord Mayors' Shows, Royal pro- 
cessions, guild companies' displays, etc., in most 
of which he would probably have some profess- 
ional connexion. Subsequently he records 
notable events outside his profession, such as 
" preching at Po wile's Crosse ; " changes in 
religion ; proceedings of Queen Mary r her 
marriage, etc. ; the punishing of heretics on the 
gallows and at the stake ; standings in the 
"pelere;" " rydyngs in Chepe ;" penance in 
churches ; and sundry other events of a similarly 
lively character, which were marked features of 
the time. 

The diary is remarkably free from egotism, 
being written throughout in the third person, 
even when speaking of himself or family, which is 
very seldom. The following entries relate to 
himself and family : 1. 1550, the funeral of his 
brother " 30th November was bered Crystoffe 
Machyn, Marchand Tayllor in the parryche of 
Sant James and broder of Henry Machyn : the 
Cumpene of Marchand Tayllors behyng at the 
berehyng and the Compene of the Clarkes 
syngyng and Maydwell dyd pryche for hym." 
2. The birth of a daughter. September 25th 


1557 ; he writes that his wife was " browth a 'bed 
with a whenche," that she was attended by his 
"gossip Master Harper," who was surgeon 
accoucheur to the Queen ; and that two days 
after \vas " chrysten'd Katheryn, doythur of Hare 
(Harry) Machyn ;" further that " Mistress 
Grenway, an Altherman's wife, and Masters 
Blakwelle and Grenwell " were the sponsors. 3. 
A notice of his own doing penance, but recorded 
in the third person and with a Frenchifying of 
his name. "November 23rd, 1561: the third 
yere of Quen Elesabeth, dyd preche at Powlle's 
crosse, Renager, yt was Sant Clement Day ; dyd 
syt alle the sermon tym Henry des Machyn for 
two (words) the wyche was tolde hym, that 
Veron, the French the precher was taken wyth 
a wenche, by the reporting, by on (one) Wylliam 
Lawrence, dark of Sant Mare (Mary) Maudlen, 
in Mylke Streete ; the wych the same Hare 
(Harry) kneelyd down before Master Veron and 
the byshopp, and yett (they) would nott for 
(forgive) hym for alle ys fryndes that he hadde 
worshepefulle." 4. Marriage of his niece. July 
7th, 1562, "that Symon Smith browth to the 
Gyldhalle, Kynlure Machen for to have lyssens 
(licence) to have her a husband, Edw. Gardener, 


Cowper . . dowther of Cristofer Machyn." 
These are all the references to himself and family, 
but there is a memorandum on one of the sheets 
of a business nature, which indicates his having 
been an emblazoner of arms : " Rember yt my 
lade (Lady) Masum byll for armes/' the rest 

The diary extends from 1550 to 1563; it is 
couched in language and orthography which 
denote deficient education even for that time, 
but is valuable as a reliable record of events, 
interesting as a picture of the age, and amusing 
from its quaint style. Strype made great use of 
it in the way of quotation in his Ecclesiastical 
Memorials, as a trustworthy authority. The MS. 
is in the Cotton collection. It suffered in the fire at 
Sir Robert Cotton's house, Westminster, and now 
remains in a fragmentary form, being much 
scorched and burnt at the edges. In the year 
1848, it was published by the Cam den Society, 
edited by Mr. John Gough Xichols, F.S.A.. 
with a glossary, notes, etc. 

The following extracts from the diary give a 
vivid picture of London 300 years ago ; the tone 
of public opinion, and the turbulence of the time, 
with the picturesque accessories of pageants and 


processions, and the less pleasing but ever present 
spectacles of whipping, pillorying, hanging, 
quartering, and burning of heretics and rebels. 

1. The restored Papal rule. Queen Mary 
ascended the throne in 1553, and immediately 
reversed all the doings of her father and brother 
in matters of religion. Thus writes Machyn : 

"August 5th, 1553. Cam out of the 
Marselsay the old Bishop of London, Bonar, & 
dyvers bysshopes bryngyng him unto home ye 
plasse at Powlces, & doctor Coke whent to the 
same plass yn the Marselsey that the bysshope 
was in." 

February 1 2th, 1 5 7 3-4. After Wyatt's rebellion 
" there was mad at evere gate in Lundun a newe 
payre of galous, & set up 1 1 payre in Cheapside ; 
11 payre in Fletstrett, 1 in Srnythfyld, 1 in 
Holborne, 1 at Ledyn-hall, 1 at Sant Magnus, 
London Bridg, one at Refer Allay Gatt, one at 
Sant George's, 1 at Borunsay (Bermondsey) 
strett, 1 on Towr hylle, 1 payre at Charyng 
Crosse, and 1 payre besyd Hyd Parke corner." 
The executions took place on the 14th, and "on 
the iiii daye of junii wasse all the galus in 
London plokyd done in all plases." 

September 23rd, 1554. " Dyd pryche doctur 


Hud at Powlle's Crosse, and he recantyd and 
repentyd that he ever was mared (married) 
and sayd openly that he cold not mare by God's 

September loth, 1556. "A sermon was 
preached at Powlle's," when was declared, ''the 
Popes jubele and pardon from Rome, and as 
mony as wyll rescyffe ye pardon so to be schryff 
(shrived) and fast three days in on weeke and to 
rescyff the blessed sacrament, the next Sunday 
affter, clen remyssyon of alle ther synnes tossyens 
quossyens (? toties quoties) of all that ever they 

March 25th, 1556. A grand day at Bow 
Church. " Our Lady Day, the Annunsyasyon, 
at Bow Chyrch was hangyd wyth cloth of gold 
and with rich hares (arras) and cossens (cushions) 
for the commyng of my Lord Cardenal Pole. 
Ther dyd the Bysshop of Vossetr (Worcester) 
syng he (high) masse, mytyred, and ther were 
dyver bysshopes, as the B. of Ely, London, and 
Lynkkolne, and the Yerle of Pembroke, and Ser 
Edw. Hastynges, the Master of the Horse, and 
dy vers odur nobul " (unfinished). 

It seems there were those in London who did 
not approve of the Queen's proceedings, and even 


resorted to violent measures, besides Sir Thomas 
Wyatt and his followers. 1554-5. "The 17th 
day of Feybuary, at about mydnight, ther wer 
serten lude fey lows cam unto Sant Thomas of 
Acurs, and over the dore ther was set the ymage 
of Sant Thomas, .and ther they brake ys neke and 
the tope of ys crosier, the wych was mad of fre 
stone. With grett sham was yt done." On 
March 14th, the same year, ''Serten velyns dyd 
breke the neke of the ymage of Sant Thomas of 
Cantarbere, and on of ys arms broke." 

The next day was issued, "A proclamassyon 
that wo so ever cold bring word to the mare who 
dyd breke ys neke shuld have C. (100) croones of 
gold for his labur." He does not state whether 
the iconoclasts were discovered. There are 
numberless entries also, such as the following : 
"July 24th, 1553, was a felow set in the pelere 
[pillory] for speykyng agaynst the good Quen 
Mare." September 17th, 1557, "Ther whent 
out of Newgatt unto Yylyngton beyond the 
buttes, towards the cherche, in a valey, to be 
borned, four three men, on woman, for herese 
duly two of them was man and wyfe dwellyng 
in Sant Dunstan's in the East." November 
12th, 1658. " Saturday, ther was a woman sett 


on the pelere for sayhing that the Quen was ded 
and her Grace was not ded." 

After the death of Queen Mary, we read : 
"August 24th. (The Lord) Mare and the 
althermen and the (sheriffs) wher at the 
wrastleyng at Clarke in Well, and it was the 
fayre daye of thynges kept in Symthfeld, Sant 
Bathellinuw, and the same daye my lorde 
(mayor) cam horn through Chepe and agaynst 
Yrmonger (lane), and agaynst Sant Thomas of 
Ocurs two gret (bonfires) of rodes (crosses) and of 
Mares (images of the Virgin Mary) and Johns 
and odur emages ther they wher bornyd with 
gret wondur." 

Also, in the same year: "The tyme afor 
Bathell muwtyd and after was alle the rodes 
(crosses), and Mares and Johns, and many 
odur of the cherche gudes both copes, 
crosses, censers, altar-clothes, rod-clothes, bokes, 
baner-bokes and baner-stays, waynskott wyth 
myche odur gayre (gear) about London . . (which 
were all destroyed) ; and ther was a felow within 
the chyrche (St. Botolph, Bishopsgate Street) 
mad a sermon at the bornyng of the chyrch 

'2. Funerals. In describing these the author is 


quite at home, with his penons and skotchons, 
and torchys and blake clokes, which he catalogues 
minutely. These occupy about half the diary. 
Be it also observed that Englishmen then, like 
Englishmen of the nineteenth century, could not 
assemble for any purpose or conclude any 
regal or civic procession without a " gret 

"May 20th, 1551, was bered my lade (Lady) 
Hobullthorne, late (Mayoress) of London, with 2 
herolds, 4 penons of armes, and ther was (the) 
clerkes of London, and ther had powre (poor) men 
and women many fryse gownes, and there was 4 
althermen morners, and 2 of them knyghts, and 
ther a grett doll (dole) was, and the morrow a 
grett dener, &c." 

" March 22nd, 1552, was bered Master John 
Heth dwellyng in Fanchyrche-strett, and ther went 
affor him C (100) chyldern of Grayfreers, boys 
and gyrlles, 2 and 2 together, and he gayff them 
them shurts and smokes and gyrdulls and 
moketors ; and after thay hadde wy(ne) and fygs 
and good alle, and ther wor a grett dener ; and 
ther whor the Cumpane of Painters and the 
clerkes, and ys cumpony had xxs. to make mere 
(merry) with alle at the taverne." 


" October 9th, 1554, was bered Master George 
Medley, merser and late Chamberlayn of the Cete 
of London, with 2 whyt branchys and 12 pore 
men, with 12 stayffes, torchyes, and 12 gownes, 
and dyvers men and women in blake gownes; 
and ye comes afore ys body, and the compene of 
clarkes and of the mersors : and when alle was 
don they went horn to drynke ; and the morrow 
after the masse of requiem and ther dyd pryche 
doctor Smyth, and after horn to dener." 

In the same year was buried " Richard 
Townley in Sant Austyn parryche syd Poweles. 
with 10 torchys and 4 gret (tapers) and 2 whyt 
branchys with a herold of armes, with a standerd. 
a penon of armes, cote, elmet, target, sword, the 
crest, a hawke, and 6 dosen of scochyons and piests 
and dyrkes. 1 * 

"September 10th, 1555, was bered my Lade 
Lyonys, the Mares (Mayoress) of London, with 
a goodly herse mad in Sant Benet Sherog 
perryche, with 2 branchys and 24 gownes of 
blake for pore men and 3 of emages and 6 dosen 
penselds and 6 dosen of schochyons, and the 
althermen folohyng the corrse and after the 
Compane of Grosers, and the morow, the masse, and 
master H did pryche and after a grett dener/' 


At the burial of Master Robin, of Mark Lane, 
in Barking church, the street and church being 
hung with black cloth, and the Lord Mayor and 
Alderman. After an account of the heraldic and 
other paraphernalia, he concludes, " and affter 
they whent to dener for thys was affor none." 

The following describes the funeral of Sir John 
Gresham, uncle to Sir Thomas Gresham, the 
builder of the Royal Exchange, who was 
apprenticed to him. He served the office of 
Sheriff in 1537, and that of Lord Mayor in 

"Oct. 30th, 1556, was bered Ser John 
Gressem knyght and merser and merchand of the 
stapul of callys and merchand venterer, and late 
mare and altherman of London, with a standerd 
and a penon of armes arinur of damast and 4 
pennons of armes a elniet, a targett, and a sword, 
mantylles, and and a goodly herse of wax and 
10 dosen of pensils and 12 dosen of scochyons, 
and he gayff C blake gownes unto pore 
men and powre women of fyne blake cloth, 
3 dosen of grett stayffe torchys, and a 
dosen of long torchys and he gayff a C.d. 
(150) of fyne blake 2 unto the mare and 
the old mare, and to ser Rowland Hylles, and to 


ser Andrew Jude, and to boyth the cliamberlayns, 
and to the Master of Blakwell, and to Master the 
common huntt and ys men, and to the porters 
that longs the stapul, and to alle ys farmers and 
ys tenantts, and alle the chyrche hangyd and the 
strett with blake and armes grett store, and 
morow three goodly masses song, on of the 
Senete (Trinity) and a nodur of owre lade (Lady), 
and the third of requiem and a goodly sermon. 
Master Harpfield dyd pryche, and after as grett 
a dener as has bene sene for a fysse day (a day of 
fasting) for alle that came to dener, for ther laket 
(lacked) nothyng dere." 

3. Pageants, Processions, and Feasts. The 
following are samples of a great number of similar 
entries : 

1551. "The 2d daye of Nov. cam to London 
from Hainton Courtte and landyd at Benerd 
Castyll, the old Qwyne of Schottes " (this would be 
Mary, daughter of Claude de Lorraine, Duke of 
Guise, who married King James V. of Scotland 
in 1515, was mother of Mary Queen of Scots, 
iind died in 1560), "and cam rydyng to the 
bysshope pallas at Powlles, with many lordes, the 
Duke of Suffolke, &c. . . . and then the Qwyne 
and alle her owne lades and her gentyll women 


was to the nombre of C (100), and ther was sent 
her mony grett gyftes by the Mayre and Alder- 
men as beyfFes, mottuns, velles, swines, bred, 
wylld ffule, wynes, bere, spysys, and alle thinges, 
and qwaylles, sturgeon, wod and colles, and 
samons by dyvers men," and very useful 
"gyfftes" too, although the "qwaylles," if by 
that whales are meant, would be rather cumbrous 
presents to take away with her, but possibly they 
were quails. 

"September 30th, 1552, the Mayre and the 
alderman and the new shreyffes took berges at 
III Cranes in the Vyntre, and so to Westmynstre 
Hall, and ther they tote hoyth (oath) in the 
excheker, and then they cam to dener. Ther 
was as grett a dener as youe have sene, for ther 
wher mony gentyll men and women." 

In 1553 the new Lord Mayor went to West- 
minster, attended by u the craftes of London in 
ther best liveray, with trumpets blohyng and 
whets (waits) playing, ... all the craftes 
barges with stremers and banars, and so to the 
cheker, and so horn wards." They landed at 
" Banard Castyll," and arranged a procession in 
" Po wile's Chyrche yerde." ..." Furst wher 
2 tall men bayreng 2 great stremors of the 


Marcband Tayllers' armes ; then cam on (with a) 
drume and a flutt playing, and a nodur with a 

gret f 1 and alle they in blue sylke ; and then 

cam 2 gret wodyn (woodmen) with 2 gret clubes, 
alle in grene and with skwybes (squibs) bornyng, 
with gret berds and syd here (great beards and 
side hair), and 2 targetts upon their bakes . . . 
and then cam XVI. trumpetrs blohyng . . . 
and then a duyllyll (devil) ; and after cam 
the bachelors alle in a leveray and skarlett hods ; 
and then cam Sant John Baptyst, gorgyusly, with 
goody speches . . . and then my Lord 
Mayre and 2 good henchmen, and then alle the 
althermen and shreyffes, and so to dener, and 
after dener to Powlle's, and alle them that here 
tergetts dyd (bear) after stayff torchys with all 
the trumpets and wettes (waits) blowhyng, thrugh 
Powlles, round abow the quiers and the body of 
the chyrche blowhyng, and so home to my Lord 
Mere's howsse." 

"July 2nd, 1555, was the Merchand Tayllers' 
fest, and ther dyned my Lord Mayre and dyvers 
of the counselle and juges, and the shreyffes, and 
mony althermen and gentyllmen, and they had 
agaynst ther dener 58 bokes (bucks) and two 
stages (stags)." A somewhat plentiful banquet, 


after which followed the appointment of the 
warden and other officers for the ensuing year. 
" Alle five borne in London, and tayller sounes 

" 1556. The furst daye of September was 
Sant Gylles Day, and ther was a goodly 
procession abowt the parryche (St. Giles', 
Cripplegate), with the whettes (waits), and the 
canape borne and the sacrament, and ther was a 
goodly masse songe as bene herd (as has been 
heard), and Master Thomas Grenelln, wax- 
chandler, mad a grett dener for Master Garter 
and my lade (lady), and Master Machylle the 
shereyff and ys wyff, and boyth the chamberlayns, 
and mony worshepefull men and women at dener, 
and the whettes playing and dyvers odur 
mynstrelles, for ther was a grett dener." 

"10th June, 1560. Feast of the compane of 
Skyners and ther mony worshepefull men wher 
at dener, for ther was a worshepefull dener." 
After which is narrated the election of the master 
and other officers of the company for the coming 
year, " and Master Clareshur mad a grett bankett 
for the master and hys compene, furst spysed 
bred, cheres (cherries), straberes, pepyns, and 
marmalade and suckett coinfets, and portingalles 


(Portugal oranges), and dyvers odur dyssays, 
(dishes), epocres, rennys (Rhenish wine), claret 
wyne, and here, and alle grett plente and alle was 
welcome." Xot quite so substantial a repast as 
that of the Merchant Taylors with their 58 
bucks and 2 stags. 

4. Amusements. Although the fires of Smith- 
field during the reign of Mary overcanopied the 
City with a cloud of gloom, and notwithstanding 
the people had a constant source of delectation in 
witnessing the hangings and quarterings, and 
ear-lopping on pillories, the whippings at 
cart-tails, and the penance-doing at Paul's Cross, 
of rogues and heretics, the\' found time to amuse 
themselves in other ways, sometimes perhaps in 
sports of a rough and barbarous character, at 
others of a simpler and unobjectionable nature, of 
which the favourite was dancing round the 
maypole, but always accompanied by loud 
and boisterous shouts of merriment. Machyn 
frequently refers to these pastimes. The 
foil owing are specimens : 

"May 26th, 1552. Cam into Fa(nchurch) 
parryche a goodly maypole as you h(ave seen), 
pentyd whyt and gren, and ther the men and 
women dyd wher abowt ther neke baldrykes of 


whyt and gren : the gyant, the mores danse, and 
the had a castylle in the myd with pensels 
and a - plasys of sylke and gilded, and the 
sam (day the) Lord Mayre by conselle causyd yt 
to be (taken) done and broken." 

"December 9th, 1554. At afternon was a 
bere baytin on the Banksyde, and ther the grett 
blynd bere broke losse, and on runnyng away he 
chakt (caught) a servyng manne by the calif of 
the legge and bit a grett pease away, and after 
by the hokyl (ancle) bone, that within 3 days after 
he ded (died)." 

" 1557. May 30th was agoly (jolly) May-game 
in Fanchyrch Street, with drumes and gunes and 
pykes, and nine wordes (worthies) dyd ryd ; and 
they had speches evere man, and the morris dansse, 
and the saudon (soldan or sultan) and a elevant 
(elephant) with a castyll and the sauden and young 
morens (Moors) with targettes and darttes, and the 
lord and lade of the Maye." 

The sextons' merry-making was of a more 
sober kind as befitted their craft, thus : "1554. 
June 25th, anodur masse kept at the Gray freers 
for the saxtons of London and after pressessyon, 
with the whetes plahyng and clarkes syngyng 
thrug Chepesyd unto Soper Lane and again thrug 


Powlles-chyrchyard, by master denes (house) and 
thrug Warwick Lane unto Gray freers, and so to 
dener unto the Kukes' (Cooks') hall." 

5. Punishment. "Xovember 4th, 1554. Mas- 
ter Harpfield preched at Powlles Crosse, when 
ther wher fyve did penans with shetts (sheets) 
abowt them and tapurs and rods in ther handes, 
and the prycher dyd stryke them with, a rod, 
and ther did they stand tyll the sermon was well 
done. On of these was a priest some tyme 
chanon at Eyssyng Spyttyll ; three of them 
were relegyous men (monks or friars), and the 
fifth a temporall man that had two wyeffes." 

"1559. The 20th August was Sonday : ther 
was a sarmon at Powlles Crosse ; ys name was 

, and ther was a menester dyd penans for the 
marchyng of a setenn cupolle that w T as mared 
(married) afor tym." 

"1551, May 2nd. The same day was hangd 
at Tyburne IX fellows. The same year on the 
12th September there was hanged IX women 
and II men." 

"1562, June 27th. Whent to Tyburne; V 
men and VI women for to hange for theft." 

These were "the good old times" that poets 
rave about, 


" 1554. The XVII day of Septembre a 
proclamasyon that alle vacabonds and loitherus 
boyth Englysmen and alle maner of strangers 
that have no master should avoid the cete (City) 
and subarbes apon gret pain." An edict which 
appears to have been speedily put in force, as we 
read a day or two after : 

" Two men wher wyped about London after a 
carts hors for loythring, and as wagabones." 
Also, " A lad was wypd at the post in Chepe for 
ronnyng abowt masterless as a vagobond." 

"August 19th, 1552. Ther was a mon in the 
(pillory) in Chepe for spykyng agaynst the 
Mayre and his br(ethren)." 

" 1559. Desembre 18th, did a woman ryd 
upone (a horse) with a paper on her hed for 
boderie with a basen ryngyng." 

1558-9, February 18th and 20th. "A man 
stood in the pelere with a coler of smelts aboutt 
his neke for buying them as taken for the 
Qhwen " (by pre-emption) " and sold them at his 
vantage amonge the fyswyffes." 

" November 29th, 1560. Ther was a man ryd 
for bryngyng messele (measly) porke to selle." 
A very wholesome punishment, which might be 
revived with advantage amongst some of our 


sausage dealers. It would appear that the 
French notion of John Bull selling his wife in 
Smithfield is not altogether without foundation, 
as we read: "The XXIII day of Xovembre, 
1553, dyd ryd in a cort cheken parsun of sant 
Xecolas Cold Abby round abowt London, for he 
sold ys wyff to a bowcher." 

"1561. June 25th. Two pel ores in Chepsyd, 
wher wer sett seven men for kungaryng 
(conjuring)." It is fortunate for Messrs. 
Maskelyne and Cook that they live in the 
nineteenth and not in the sixteenth century. 

" 1555. XXIX April, a man bawd was putte 
in the pelore for bryngyng men's prentes 
(tradesmen's apprentices) harlots, the wyche they 
gayff hym and them serten of their masters' 
goodes and wasted." And richly did the rascal 
deserve the punishment ; it is to be hoped he was 
well pelted with rotten eggs. 

Ring-dropping appears not to be a modern 
dodge of roguery, but of the venerable age of 
three centuries at least, for we find that in 1553, 
April 17th, "a man was put in the pelere for 
fasshele (falsely) deseyvyng of the Qhwens 
subgettes, sellyng of ryngs for golde and was 
nodur seylver nor golde but cowper, the wyche 


he has deseyved money ; thys was done in 
Chepe." Also on July 3rd in the same year, " A 
man was wypyd abowtt the post of reformacyon 
(a very good name) be the standard in Chepsyd 
for sellyng of false ryngs." 

The year 1557 was a glorious one for house- 
holders, for on September 5th in that year " was 
a proclamasyon mad that the bochers of London 
shold selle beyfFe and moton and velle, the best 
for a penny fordyng the pound, and nekes and 
legges at iii fordynges the pound, and the lambe 
the quorter viiid., and yff they wyll not thay 
loysse ther fredom for ever and ever." 

The fire brigade of 1557 was on a very 
moderate scale as compared with that of the 
present year of grace, and the members had 
charitable and religious duties imposed on them 
which the brigade of modern times would scarcely 
consider as coming within the sphere of 
their duty. We read: " Jan. 7th, 1556-7, in 
Chosdwener Street Word a bellman was appoin- 
ted to go round the ward and ring his bell at the 
strett ends in case of fire, and to helpe the powre 
(poor) and pray for the ded." 

Abbey of St. Mary of Graces. ITAlbret. Sir Perducas. 241 

208 : abbot,- of. "216 l>iarist, an oW London, 269 

Aklgate, 22 : churches, iSi : Ditch, London, 20 

attacked, 192 ; barons in. 190 Dowgate, 26 

Aldersgate Street, 118: Alders- Drowning;, execution by, 229 

gate, 24; churches, etc., 123 Dnnmow flitch, 224 
Amusements, 285 

Ance of Bohemia. 55 Edward m. in peril, 20^9, 236 

Annesley, Samuel, 112 I HBMMT Cross, the, 38. 71 

Artillerr company. 93 Excise Office, 159 

Andfcy." Sir Thomaa, 193 ? Executions, 37 : n Wyatt's 

rebellion. 274 

IS; SSeS^ 1 F-fa-i- nd the Janice. 230 


Baron, of 

in charge of 

ftember. Srliola,, 236 . Dote of, 241 4 

Gre^iam, Sir Thomas, 104 : Sir 

panv. 2iS 
Batchers pnce of meat fixed, 290 

Helvood. Peter, 128 

Canterbury pilgrims, 170 Henry ICL. 46 

Canute attacks London, 13 ; Henrv YL. 56 

Charter, the Conqueror's, 220 Henry VIIL, 57-60 

Chaucer and the Tabard, 165 I HoadW, Benjamin, 148 

Churches, 35, 38, 43, So, Si, 86, Holbein. Hans. 189' 

87, 126, 127, 146, 181, 188, 195 Holdsworth, Richard, 147 
Conduits. 37 ! Hostelries. i^S 

Convent of St. Clare, 197 r Howard, Lord Edward, 65 

Cooks, 136 ! Houses, historic, 99, 102-4, ic6, 

religious, and 

Cripplegate, 28 
Cromwell family. 84-5 
Crosses and images burnt, 277 

.;.->:, --_:_:.. :, 
Crown Field, 36 

HoweU, James, 130 
Hurricane, A.D. 1091, 35 


Inns, 96 

Inscription, curious, 10 



James I. enters London, 139 

Pinder, Sir Paul, 101 

Jews, usury, massacre, etc., 49, 

Pinmakers, 152 

50; synagogue, 115 

Plantagenet, Edmund, 200 

Joscelyne, Ralph, re. walls, 17 

Post Office, 99 

Praed, 97 

Katherine of Valois, 55 

'Prentices, 39 

Knighten Guild, 185 

Printers and publishers, 140 

Knollys, Hansard, 114 

Priory and Hospital of Bethlehem, 

Knowles, Sir Robert, 241 


Priory and Hospital of the Holy 

Leathersellers' Company, 93 ; 

Trinity, 178 

charters, 94 ; halls, 95 

Punishment, 287 

Lollards, 259 

London, pillaged, 4 ; fortitied, 
A.n. 1643, J 9 ; Roman 

Radcot Bridge, affair of, 246 
Richard II., 237 

remains, 77 
Longbeard, W. Fitzosbcrt, 42 
Lord Mayor's Day, 66 
Louis XIV., anecdote, 91 

Riots, goldsmiths' and tailors', 51 
Roman Catholicism Queen Mary 
Roman remains, 77 

Lud, King, 25 

Royal Society, the, 105 

Ludgate, 25 

Lydgate, 39 

Seals, St. Helen's, 83; St. Mary" 

Machyn, Henry, 269 ; diary, 
extracts from, 274 
Marching watch, 56-60 
Margaret of Anjou, pageant, 55 
Matilda the Fair, 222-3 
Matilda, Queen, 179 
May Day, the Evil, 62 
Mayors and aldermen, 122 

of (i races, 217 
Scott, John, D.D., 148 
Sildham, 54 
St. Augustine's, 153 
St. Bartholomew, fracas at, 265 
St. Clare, 199 
St. Mary Spital, 86 
St. Paul's, 256 

Merchants' lecture, 156 
Miracle plays, 257 
Moorgate, 30 

Tabard, the, 166 
Temple Bar, 32 
Thames, Valley of the, i 

Nevil, Sir Thomas, 192 
Newgate, 28 ; John Offrem's 
escape, 29 
Norman, Prior, 183, 186 
Norman, Sir John, 67 

Tombs, St. Botolph, 81 ; St. 
Helen, 84 
Tournament in Cheapside, 52 
Traitors' quarters exposed, 122 
Tresilian, Sir Robert, 245 

Trinity Hall, 129 

Old Bishopsgate, 116 

Tyler, Wat, slain, 240-1 

Old Broad Street, 142 ; public 

buildings in, 161 

Villeins, 212 

Old Jewry, 48 

Walls of London, 3-18 

Pageants, 55, 68, 281 

Walworth, Lord Mayor, 241 

Pamphlets, 73 

Wardhoke, 164 

Papey, the, 87 

Wesley, John, 130 

Paulet, Sir William, 144 

Wesleys, the, 112 

Pawnbrokers, 195 

Wife, sale of a, 289 

Pestilence, 191 

William builds the Tower, 14 

Pickaxe Street, 118 

Workhouse founded, 107 

Pillory, 276-7 

Wyclif, 254 

Elegantly bound in cloth gilt, demy Svo., 6s. 

Legendary yorkshire. 


Contents \ : The Enchanted Cave The Doomed City The Worm of 
Nunnington The Devil's Arrows The Giant Road Maker of Mulgrave 
The Virgin's Head of Halifax The Dead Arm of St. Oswald the King The 
Translation of St. Hilda A Miracle of St. John The Beatified Sisters The 
Dragon of Wantley The Miracles and Ghost of Watton The Murdered 
Hermit of Eskdale The Calverley Ghost The Bewitched House of 


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Contents : The Synod of Streoneshalh The Doomed Heir of Osmotherley 
St. Eadwine, the Royal Martyr The Viceroy Siward Phases in the Life 
of a Political Martyr The Murderer's Bride The Earldom of Wiltes 
Blackfaced Clifford The Shepherd Lord The Felons of Ilkley The Ingilby 
Boar's Head The Eland Tragedy The Plumpton Marriage The Topcliffe 
Insurrection Burning of Cottingham Castle The Alum \Vorkers The 
Maiden of Marblehead Rise of the House of Phipps The Traitor Governor 
of Hull. 


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York Chapels on Bridges Charter Horns The Old 
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Cross Cheapside Cross The Biddenden Maids Charity 
Plagues and Pestilences A King Curing an Abbot 
of Indigestion The Services and Customs of Royal 
Oak Day Marrying in a White Sheet Marrying under 
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" We feel sore that ntsny wiD, feel grateful to Mr. Andrews for having prwluced such 
an interesting book/ Tkt Amtifxarj. 

" A volutie of greu research and striking interest." Tke Bvoktuyer ( AVa- 1 'arfj. 

" A valuable hook." Literury H'artJ <&*<**, L'.S.A.j. 

" An admirable book."- Sht&tU t*Jffc*Jf*t. 

" An interesting, handsomely got up volume. . . . Mr. Andrews is always chatty 
and expert in making a paper on a dry subject exceedingly readable." \em*xut<f Ctmnutt 

" Mr. William Andrews new book, -Curiosities of the Church, adds another to tht 
series by which he has done so much to popularise antiquarian studies. . . . The book. 
it should be added, ha^ some qiriint illustrations, and its rich matter is made available foi 
reference by a full and carciulty compiled index." Scauuaut. 

London : Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & Co., Ld. 

"Quite up to Date."-Hull Daily Mail. 

Crown 8vo., 140 pp. ; fancy cover, Is. ; cloth bound, 2s. 



In a reasonable and able manner Mr, Maxwell deals with the following 
topics : The Popular Meaning of the Term Socialism Lord Salisbury on 
Socialism Why There is in Many Minds an Antipathy to Socialism 
On Some Socialistic Views of Marriage The Question of Private Property 
The Old Political Economy is not the Way of Salvation Who is My 
Neighbour? Progress, and the Condition of the Labourer Good and 
Bad Trade: Precarious Employment All Popular Movements are 
Helping on Socialism Modern Literature in Relation to Social Progress 
Pruning the Old Theological Tree The Churches, Their Socialistic 
Tendencies The Future of the Earth in Relation to Human Life Socialism 
is Based on Natural Laws of Life Humanity in the Future Preludes to 
Socialism Forecasts of the Ultimate Form of Society A Pisgah-top View 
of the Promised Land. 


The following are selected from a large number of favourable notices : 
" The author has evidently reflected deeply on the subject of Socialism, 
and his views are broad, equitable, and quite up to date. In a score or 
so of chapters he discusses Socialism from manifold points of view, and in 
its manifold aspects. Mr. Maxwell is not a fanatic ; his book is not dull, 
and his style is not amateurish." Hull Daily Mail. 

"There is a good deal of charm about Mr. Maxwell's style." Northern 
Daily News. 

" The book is well worthy of perusal." Hull News. 

" The reader who desires more intimate acquaintance with a subject 
that is often under discussion at the present day, will derive much interest 
from a perusal of this little work. Whether it exactly expresses the views 
of the various socialists themselves is another matter, but inasmuch as 
Inese can seldom agree even among themselves, the objection is scarcely so 
serious as might otherwise be thought." Publishers' Circular. 

London : Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & Co., Ld. 

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